Crush, the newest release under Sam Shepherd’s Floating Points project is a natural continuation of Shepherd’s evolution as both a composer and sound designer. It’s also an illuminating snapshot of Shepherd’s interest in tackling a new territory.
Shepherd’s career began in 2009 with the release of J&W Beat on Mike Paradinas’ Planet Mu imprint. Since then, he’s released work on R2 Records, Eglo, Pluto and Luaka Bop. With Crush’s release on Ninja Tune being his third full-length recording, Shepherd is entering yet another chapter solidifying his well-deserved place in the contemporary popular electronic music scene.
Opening track “Falaise” features lush orchestral arrangements that are gradually disintegrated over the course of the track with razor-wire sharpness, leading flawlessly into the Aphex-y “Last Bloom.” Deeper cut “Karakul” exemplifies Shepherd’s experimental side — it’s a masterful sound assemblage, edited to perfection.
Elsewhere, tracks like “Anasickmodular” and “LesAlpx” hone in on Floating Points’ instant and lasting capacity for mass appeal. “Bias” dons a speed-garage flavour, where steady melodic hooks are supplemented by flavourful 2-step inflections.
Through an eclectic sound palette and a highly detail-oriented approach to production, Crush retains its beauty through heady dabs of abstract noise that manage to keep an eye on the dance floor.