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Ninja Tune - ZEN259Y
After returning to the fray back in mid-summer with his 'LesAlpx' single, Sam Shepherd now delivers his first Floating Points LP since 2017's Reflections - Mojave Desert. That album was a set of widescreen space-rock, a collection of compositions in which Shepherd allowed texture and atmosphere to take the reigns. Crush, by contrast, returns somewhat to the ebullient club sound of those early Floating Points EPs.
This is a streamlined record by Shepherd's standards. Gone are the long, spooling song-suites of Reflections - Mojave Desert or its predecessor Elaenia, and only two of these dozen tracks clock in at over five minutes. The arrangements are also comparatively restrained - while jazz arkestra strings and twinkling synths are retained, these tracks feel far more intimate than those of the previous Floating Points albums.
Shepherd also re-focuses on beats here, delivering his most dancefloor-friendly tunes in a while. Those who've already heard 'LesAlpx' will be familiar with its meaty, shuffling house sound, and that style crops up a few times more across Crush. The neo-garage flex of the first Floating Points releases comes back around on tracks like 'Last Bloom'. There are also some moments when Shepherd explores new terrain - 'Bias' is something approaching breakbeat while a couple of tracks towards the back end of Crush dabble in Braindance and IDM. Tying the album together are the lush interludes and jazzy asides that have long been the glue of a Floating Points release.
Floating Points refocusses on the stunning, lively new album Crush.
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