Floating Points announces new album. Shares lead single

Floating Points announces new album. Shares lead single




Watch the video for ‘Key103’ here:

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Sam Shepherd¬†aka¬†Floating Points¬†has today announced his new album¬†Cascade¬†will be released on 13 September via¬†Ninja Tune. Along with the announcement Shepherd has shared lead single ‘Key103’ which comes with visuals continuing his ongoing collaboration with Tokyo based artist¬†Akiko Nakayama.

Cascade¬†is an eruption of unfinished business. In late 2022, Shepherd ‚Äď renowned for drifting between genres as freely as his stage name implies ‚Äď found himself in the Californian desert working on something new.¬†Mere Mortals, his first ballet score, created with the¬†San Francisco Ballet, was to be a collision of sound and dance exploring the ancient parable of Pandora through the prism of technology. “It was one of quite a few left turns I was taking around that time”, recalls Shepherd. You can say that again:¬†Promises, his multiple end-of-year-list-topping previous record, released in 2021, had seen him swap his typical modular synth tapestries and intricate drum patterns for airy dreamscapes, crafted with late legendary saxophonist¬†Pharoah Sanders¬†and the¬†London Symphony Orchestra. It was a collaboration so popular, a¬†Mercury Prize¬†nomination and sold-out show at the¬†Hollywood Bowl¬†in September 2023 followed.

Between these projects and an upcoming anime score for Adult Swim Рfrom the outside it might have seemed as though Shepherd was departing the dancefloor for good. But as he wrote his ballet score by day, at night he found himself longing for the sweaty communion of a dancefloor. For the pulse-racing abandon of electronic music.

Shepherd released¬†Crush, his rave-reviewed second studio album, in November 2019. It was hailed as one of the albums of that year by¬†Pitchfork,¬†The Independent,¬†Mixmag,¬†Loud And Quiet¬†and more ‚Äď “but I never got to explore its ravey, experimental side live”, laments the musician, whose world tour was cancelled due to lockdown.¬†Cascade¬†was devised as a follow-on from¬†Crush¬†that would allow him (and audiences) to experience Floating Points in its traditional form on a dancefloor once more: bursting with Buchla rhythms, glitching melodies bewitching a room full of heaving bodies. “It‚Äôs meant to be kind of a continuation”, adds Shepherd. This explains¬†Cascade‚Äôs artwork: another colourful sleeve, full of fluid imagery (created once more by Akiko Nakayama). It also explains its evocative title: like¬†Crush, one word that implies movement, beauty and pressure. Most importantly, it explains its mesmerising sound: sumptuous sonic chasms to lose yourself in again and again.

Creating the album stripped Shepherd back. Not only in terms of his set-up ‚Äď “I have a studio at home with all the gear I usually use, but I wasn‚Äôt there so I had to use my laptop, doing it all on headphones”, he says ‚Äď but in terms of his connection to electronic music, and to his home city where his love of music first flourished. “There‚Äôs something about Manchester that keeps coming back to me, and I think it‚Äôs partly to do with its record shops”, says the producer, who found himself instinctively naming tracks after local landmarks and institutions. “As a kid, my school was around the corner from the Northern Quarter so at lunchtimes, I‚Äôd run out of the school gates and skip lunch altogether to go and listen to records. I‚Äôm sure I was a total pain in the arse constantly pulling records off the shelves”, he laughs, “but it was amazing. I‚Äôd be listening to Autechre at Pelican Neck, Dilla at Fat City, David Morales mixes at the Factory Records shop‚Ķ It gave me a parallel education in music to what I was being taught at school”. This can be found in multiple tracks on the album including lead single ‘Key103’ – named after “an underground Manchester radio station I‚Äôd listen to religiously” that helped expand his music sensibilities beyond the classical composers he focused on in his academic work (Shepherd studied composition at Chetham’s School of Music).

Other tracks took inspiration from the dust bowl surroundings off the Californian desert, but make no mistake:¬†Cascade¬†is a record forged in an adolescence spent in Manchester, discovering the mind-expanding (and emotion-purging) power of electronic music in all its forms. Though devised as a continuation of¬†Crush,¬†Cascade¬†nonetheless pushes Floating Points‚Äô sound forward into new places. The nine tracks here are allowed to smoulder and spark for up to eight minutes at a time, allowing for more expansive exploration of sounds and grooves than before. Almost a decade on since¬†Elaenia, his revered debut album, the composer has discovered ways to thread his experiments outside of club music seamlessly into his music designed for the dancefloor. “I‚Äôm just constantly chasing challenges”, says Shepherd, explaining how this album fits into his ever-expanding web of creative projects, of which there are many. “I always want to keep things moving and go all in on things that excite me. Whether that‚Äôs working with a 100-piece orchestra on a ballet or on a laptop on my own”, Shepherd grins.¬†Cascade¬†is the proof ‚Äď when it comes to electronic innovation and simmering tracks that stand hairs on end, Floating Points will always, always have unfinished business.

After the huge success of¬†Mere Mortals, which sold out each night of its multiple runs, Shepherd will be playing a number of dates throughout the summer including playing at¬†London‘s¬†All Points East,¬†We Out Here Festival,¬†Lost Village Festival¬†and¬†Forwards Festival. He has also today announced that he is bringing his live show to Europe in November (tickets on sale Friday 12th July 10:00AM CET) with more dates to be announced soon, all with long-time collaborators¬†Hamill Industries¬†working alongside Akiko Nakayama delivering enthralling visuals at each.

Pre-order Cascade here:

Photo credit: Genevieve Reeves

High-res images are available here

Cascade tracklist:

1. Vocoder (Club Mix)
2. Key103
3. Birth4000
4. Del Oro
5. Fast Forward
6. Ocotillo
7. Afflecks Palace
8. Tilt Shift
9. Ablaze

Tour dates:

12 Jul –¬†Lisbon, PT @ NOS Alive
13 Jul –¬†Bilbao, ES @ BBK
20 Jul –¬†Istanbul, TR – Babylon Soundgarden Festival
26 Jul –¬†Niigata, JP @ Fuji Rock Festival
3 Aug –¬†Waterford, IE @ All Together Now
16 Aug –¬†Wimborne¬†@ We Out Here Festival
23 Aug –¬†London¬†@ All Points East
24 Aug –¬†Lincoln¬†@ Lost Village Festival
31 Aug –¬†Bristol¬†@ Forwards Festival
20 Sep –¬†Philadelphia, PA Making Time
21 Sep –¬†Los Angeles, CA @ Boiler Room
28 Sep –¬†Chicago, IL @ Warm Love Cool Dreams
29 Sep –¬†San Francisco, CA @ Portola Festival
5 Oct –¬†Arcosanti, AZ @ Form

16 Oct –¬†Amsterdam, NL @ Melkweg
16 Nov –¬†Paris, FR @ Le Nef 104
28 Nov –¬†Berlin, DE @ Festsaal Kreuzberg (1900-2300)
29 Nov –¬†Berlin, DE @ Festsaal Kreuzberg (2330-0400)

Tickets are available here: