Floating Points, Pharoah Sanders & The LSO
Promises


4.1
excellent

Review

by Ben STAFF
April 7th, 2021 | 187 replies


Release Date: 2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A modern classic, probably.

Featuring eclectic, electronic aficionado Floating Points (a.k.a Sam Shepherd), sax legend Pharoah Sanders and a goddamn garrison of classical virtuosos (known to their friends and family as the London Symphony Orchestra), it’s unsurprising that Promises is rather difficult to pigeonhole. The single-track, nine movement epic winds its way up and down the musical spectrum, splattering the canvas with the warm pinks of free jazz, calm blues of ambient and urgent purples of a full blown symphony as it bursts and blossoms and blooms in floral fireworks. It’s a challenging album to describe - not just because I don’t want to spoil the journey for those who have yet to take it, or because those loose genre terms don’t really do Promises justice - but also due to the sheer breadth of the emotional territory covered by the collective. The group flit with ease from melancholy to elation (“Movement 6”), desperation to contemplation (“Movement 1”) and giddy nervousness to nervous giddiness (“Movement 4”), somehow covering more ground than most bands manage to trudge across in a lifetime.

Equally impressive is how the LP never becomes overburdened by the weight of its many interlinking components, surely a testament to the calibre of the musicians involved. The fabric of Promises remains loose and breathable no matter how much is going on, the group’s various members rubbing elbows without falling over one another. Therein lies the project’s emotional potency, for each element of Promises exists solely to serve the greater whole, individualistic ego and artistic bravado removed from the equation. Enough space is left for the swelling of synths and/or brass and/or strings to shine in turn, such that they’re able to sucker punch you right in the feels as and when required. It’s because of this compositional patience and restraint that, when all the pieces finally slot together during the closing moments of “Movement 7”, the resultant feeling of joy that (I guarantee) bubbles up within your chest is nothing short of magical.

Make no mistake, the payoff that Promises promises is by no means immediate. This is music to savour with eyes closed in a dark room, headphones on and all other distractions firmly yeeted from sight. Its nearest reference points are not other jazz/classical/ambient projects, but rather the likes of Talk Talk’s Laughing Stock and Fishmans’ Long Season: similarly subtle, supple, spiritual albums that feel like actual physical places in which to sit and reside and breathe and just take it all in. It’s music at its most transportive and experiential - to converse and to live and to dream with - such that both words and ratings fail to really articulate what makes it special. I guess you’re just going to have to find that out for yourself.



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user ratings (242)
3.8
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
parksungjoon
April 7th 2021


47230 Comments


prob ab lee

AsleepInTheBack
Staff Reviewer
April 7th 2021


9997 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

https://floatingpoints.bandcamp.com/album/promises

GhandhiLion
April 7th 2021


17641 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

nice

Prancer
April 7th 2021


1591 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

the release in movement 6 after all the album's buildup is an emotional experience

nightbringer
April 7th 2021


2713 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

This has been getting a lot of hype so good to see it reviewed. I'm not sure I have the patience for this release, though. I listened to about half of it and was like "nothing has happened yet, this is v boring."

dedex
Staff Reviewer
April 7th 2021


12773 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Been meaning to check this, you convinced me I def should. Superb rev as per us'

someone
Contributing Reviewer
April 7th 2021


6546 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

a modern classic, to be seen

WeepingBanana
April 7th 2021


11387 Comments


The hype is crazy for this but it is very good

parksungjoon
April 7th 2021


47230 Comments


if it gets more people to check out floating points or pharoah sanders its all good in my books

Sinternet
Contributing Reviewer
April 7th 2021


26565 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

very much a statement album from both of them, excellent review



definitely something you have to experience as a full album because this does not sample very well with one or two tracks, but I found it very captivating and entrancing for how minimal it is in parts

DoofDoof
April 7th 2021


14937 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

dig the atmos here bros

bloc
April 7th 2021


69874 Comments


Is the one the boys over at RYM are jizzing over

AsleepInTheBack
Staff Reviewer
April 7th 2021


9997 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

it's an album experience for sure. listening to the first 3 or 4 movements each in isolation or without hearing the second half of the album would be a snooze. context is importante yo.

Pho3nix
April 7th 2021


1583 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Interesting, thanks for the rec! :]

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
April 8th 2021


32013 Comments


So happy you reviewed this Ben, had a really, really good time with this one yesterday morning. Magical.

Ryus
April 8th 2021


36536 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

everybody check floating points

Relinquished
April 8th 2021


48689 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

[2] especially his latest







also the energy in that “probably” is weeeeak

zaruyache
April 8th 2021


27329 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Is the one the boys over at RYM are jizzing over





ye

LeddSledd
April 8th 2021


7445 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

pharoah sanders? prob gonna check this

Veldin
April 8th 2021


5237 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review! Really enjoyed this piece. Definitely gonna check out Pharoah Sanders work



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