There are a number of names in electronic music that command respect the minute they come into a conversation. The names that surpass the club DJs and the edit merchants, the names that remind you more so of the musical elements of electronic music rather than the more simplistic dance ones. One of those names is Floating Points, the neuroscientist that has to some degree dissected every element of house and disco and reassembled them in one of the most unique ways we’ve ever heard.
He joins a rare crop of producers that include the likes of Bicep, Four Tet and more that are re shaping the tight confines of electronic music into their own distinctive sounds and are assembling a legion of fans in the process of doing so. With that in mind we’ve taken a look at the top Floating Points tracks that have shaped his diverse career up until now.
Clear your schedule and clean out the sensory deprivation tank, this is about to go deep.
10. King Bromeliad
If there was a way to softly introduce people to the diverse producer, ‘King Bromeliad’ would probably be it. The track is definitely one of his more club friendly tracks but still flirts with live instrumentation that gives it that extra musical edge to get it over the line.
9. K&G Beat
Similar to its predecessor, this track continues to showcase his use of drums hats and snares, rather than focus on the synth aspect that’s rife throughout a lot of his other material. ‘K&G Beat’ gets the nod over King Bromeliad simply because of its total uniqueness from everything else he makes and how it’s still coherent to his overall style.
8. Sparkling Controversy
It only took us two tracks to really dive deep into one of his more synth driven tracks. The UK producer is a master of synths and his huge collection of equipment is definitely a big reason for that too. In ‘Sparkling Controversy’ we see the antithesis of the past two tracks as he pays far more attention to keys in this number, going very deep and taking us on a signature journey.
Another first on the list, but this time it comes in the shape in one of Floating Points’ longform, symphonic tracks and ‘Wires’ is most definitely one of the most impressive examples of that. The intricate strings and live instruments initially fill out the opening and middle sections of the track while they’re eventually reinforced by a drum that slowly encroaches as the track progresses.
‘Nectarines’ is the perfect marriage of the jazz elements that are heavily present in Floating Points’ DJ sets with the more electronic elements that pervade his live sets and productions. In some ways if you were to describe the complex producer’s very intricate sound in one track this would be a valiant effort of it, given that the track doesn’t cease in its constant inclusion of his influencing sounds.
5. Myrtle Avenue
‘Myrtle Avnue’ acts in some ways as a little brother to ‘Nuits Sonores’, with this track being soaked in muted bass and percussion. It’s hard not to include every one of his journey tracks as each one manages to stretch out different aspects that the producer manages to touch on across his discography and ‘Myrtle Avenue’ is no different.
4. Silhouettes I, II & III
Yet another longform offering from the UK man, but this one is unique in its attention to live instrumentation, nothing new for the producer, however his use of drums and hats throughout is especially breath taking, as he marries them effortlessly with keys and strings that are strong enough to stand on their own but equally act as complimentary sounds to every accompanying element that enters and departs as the song progresses.
The name pays tribute to one his most trust synthesizers and given that, the track showcases the most adept key work throughout his deep catalogue. ARP3 is a unique journey that makes us feel as if we’re aimlessly wandering through the impressionless depths of space, only to dip in and out of reality as the weightless drums come and go throughout.
Arguably Floating Points’ most impressive production is the almost 19 minute offering ‘Ratio’. The track, which could make for an EP in itself crosses multiple thresholds while dealing with the producer’s impressive command over a range of instruments and sounds. We build up to an initial bass driven cacophony only to be broken down in a somewhat theatre interval-like fashion where we’re then thrust into a soft but overwhelming final overture.
1. Nuits Sonores
Floating Points’ most famous song is definitely one where he manages to convey every aspect of his multi faceted sound throughout. His muted drums draw the listener in initially and before long we’re fully engrossed in a sonic journey. The stop midway to give breathing room to the stripped back piano is the icing on the cake as well dive back into the comfortable, percussive surroundings that tie a bow on his defining masterpiece.
Floating Points plays live at this year’s upcoming Forbidden Fruit Festival, tickets are still available via their website here.