Floating Points Ensemble – Post Suite review

The young Sam Shepherd, better known as Floating Points, has been turning the heads of electronic music aficionados since he burst onto the scene in 2009 with a slew of critically acclaimed releases, most notably the Vacuum Boogie 12″. Beyond the electronic, Shepherd proves that he can also impress on a more organic tip with his Floating Points Ensemble, featuring a cast of live musicians. In fact, the Ensemble so impressed Gilles Peterson that he awarded them the title of Best Maida Vale Session at his Worldwide Awards last year.

This debut single by the Ensemble is absolutely stunning. It is with Floating Points Ensemble that Shepherd’s classical composition and jazz piano training really shines through. Jazzy, spiritual and soulful, the two featured tracks were recorded and mixed at the legendary Abbey Road Studios, initially for the Ninja Tune XX box set which marked the imprint’s 20th anniversary.

Both tracks feature the soothing, soulful vocals of Fatima which soar beautifully in and out of a sumptuous arrangement of lush instrumentation made up of a full string section, flute, trumpet, saxophone, percussion, guitar and keys. “Almost In Profile” starts off quietly with a low drone, later joined by Shepherd coaxing a quiet melody out of his Fender Rhodes alongside his string section, slowly building to the eventual layering of a whirlwind of vocals, strings and percussion. “Post Suite” borrows influences from somewhere much further east of Shepherd’s London home, and he blends these elements seamlessly alongside western music elements. A full Floating Points Ensemble album to follow one day? We hope so.

Helen Luu