For the most part in Luaka Bop’s history we release music from artists who are relatively unknown or forgotten. That’s a lot of fun you know, taking a Tom Ze or William Onyeabor or Shuggie Otis – or, like now, a Doug Hream Blunt – and working to get people as excited about their music as we are. But, for the first time, we are also releasing an album by someone who has already had success and respect, though has never before released a full album. His name is Sam Shepherd and he goes by the name Floating Points. Sam’s record ‘Elaenia’ is one of the most beautiful, and, surprising albums we have heard and simply, just so different.
Sam was born in Manchester, England and started out from taking lessons in classical composition and jazz. As he tells us:
“I forcibly had piano lessons since I was eight – hated it. I joined Manchester Cathedral Choir as a choirboy, and as a result got into Cheethams School of Music across the road, where I studied jazz piano and composition. The composition teacher let me use the old analogue studio as much as I liked, ’cause they just got a fancy digital studio, which they’re probably still trying to figure out! This meant I’d spend endless time trying to get an MS20 to stay in tune, making tape loops with the reel to reel, getting arthritic on the S-90 and electrocuting myself on the patch bay. This plus jazz plus choral music and Manchester record shops moulded me into a mess of love for so many sounds…”
Today, we are also sharing Floating Points’ new video “Silhouettes,” with music from the eleven-minute album track “Silhouettes (I, II & III)”, filmed on location in Rio Tinto – a corner of the Spanish and Portuguese border deemed the closest thing to Mars on Earth – as well as in a Barcelona studio over a period of six months.
Tomorrow (Wednesday, July 26th), Floating Points will debut the live version of ‘Silhouettes (I, II & III)’ together with an 11-piece ensemble (!!) at the magnificent Fort Christo Punto, at Dimensions Festival, in Croatia. The show will be streamed live around the world from 2.30pm EST, via Boiler Room.
Floating Points has worked for the last five years on composing and recording ‘Eleania’. We think its incredible, and hope you will find that, too. ‘Elaenia’ will be available on Luaka Bop on November 6, in North & South America (if you live elsewehere, you can find it on Pluto). You can pre-order Elaenia via this store and receive ‘Silhouettes (I, II & III)’ instantly (the first 200 orders also get a print of the album artwork created by the harmonograph Sam built himself!).