With a plethora of different guises, Sam Shepard AKA Floating Points is difficult to pigeonhole; on the one hand, he composes enthralling journey-like records which range from jazz-funk fusion to off-kilter IDM, but equally, the London based artist effortlessly ignites dancefloors around the globe with meticulous mixes of throbbing techno, bouncy house, and disco and world music gems. Whilst his productions and DJ sets follow different pathways, the route of their continuous success stems from Shepard’s unquestionable obsession for discovering, creating, and sharing music.
Whether it’s releasing a record or tearing up the club and festival circuits with a mix of live and DJ sets, Floating Points delivers with an untouchable flair. This year he will be gracing the stages of the likes of Mad Cool, Melt!, Dekmantel, and Sziget.
Here’s all you need to know about the crate digging master.
This nine-minute progressive underground anthem marries a jazz-infused bouncy beat with a groovy garage-esque bassline, creating a track which would go onto define Floating Points’ style: IDM for the dancefloor.
Made on the flight to Nuits Sonores festival in Lyon, this track mirrors the experience of a plane taking off – beginning with a low minor rumble before building up into a crescendo of suspense. And this is where Shepard’s typical snaking basslines and synths come to play, trickling over the galloping beat.
Silhouettes (I, II, & III)
'Silhouettes' forms a highlight of Shepard’s brilliant debut album Elaenia, which sees the London based artist steer further away from the dancefloor and closer towards rich progressive IDM and progressive rhythms. The three-parter track has a floaty tear-jerking midpoint, which introduces Floating Points at his most emotional.
If there is something that Floating Points does effortlessly is creating lengthy tracks that build in momentum and never tire. 2017 saw Shepard return to a more electronic focused sound that featured his signature skippy beats and arpeggio melodies, and in its 19-minute entirety, Ratio is a pleasurable journey.
After a four year gap since debut album Elaenia, Floating Points returned with his next album Crush, an experimental, stripped-back take on electronic music. Much of the album is relaxed and dreamy, however, leading single 'LesAlpx' is energised, dramatic, and pulsating, nodding back to some of his earlier work.
Hearing Floating Points’ music performed in a live setting enhances the brilliance and dazzling elements of his productions, and pair this with far-out hypnotic visuals, and you have yourself an unforgettable experience. His show at Printworks, which was recorded in full by Resident Advisor, sees Shepard showcase his vast range of sounds and incredible talent.
Swapping out cinematic electronica for a far-ranging blend of house, techno, garage, disco, funk, jazz, and world music; a Floating Points DJ set is a completely different experience to a live show. This displays his vast musical knowledge and underlying deep passion for all things music.
See which festivals Floating Points is due to perform at here.