Floating Points
Crush


4.5
superb

Review

by SowingSeason STAFF
June 9th, 2021 | 42 replies


Release Date: 2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A benchmark for modern electronic music.

Crush is the sound of a rare talent hitting full stride. Sam Shepherd, who studied piano at Chetham's School of Music before attaining a PhD in neuroscience and epigenetics, knows a thing or two about what makes the brain tick. While plenty of electronic music reaches exceptional levels of technicality, what separates Floating Points’ art is how Shepherd takes the inherently detached complexity of his arrangements and transforms it into something lush and intimate. Rather than pushing deadpan beats to their collective limit underneath a digitized sheen, Shepherd – always, but especially on Crush – aims for the expansive, blending breathtaking, unfurling, and very human atmospheres with gorgeous pianos, fluttering strings, and burgeoning synth movements. It’s the equivalent of a rippling, crystalline pool on a sweltering summer afternoon – cool, invigorating, and ever-so tempting to dive into.

It’s these same characteristics that lend Crush a long shelf-life; after all, what is endearing is memorable. Here, Shepherd offers no shortage of moments to embrace: ‘Requiem for CS70 and Strings’ is a beautiful orchestral suite which informs his future 2021 collaboration with Pharoah Sanders, Promises, while ‘Bias’ grabs you by the hand and pulls you onto the dancefloor. There’s an upbeat, optimistic vibe throughout the entire experience that makes even the subdued cuts feel hopeful, while the most outgoing tracks – like ‘Last Bloom’ – will dare you to get up and move. Accompanied by an artsy, progressive air that exists both in dense concentration (‘Falaise’, ‘Sea-Watch’) and in permeation of Crush’s whole atmosphere, Shepherd ends up achieving an extraordinary balance between fun, fashionable, and sophisticated. It’s an intoxicating fusion of styles.

Crush’s primary consequence – other than being an excellent case study on best-of-all-worlds electronic music – is ensuring that Floating Points is a name on the tip of everyone’s tongue. Shepherd’s multifaceted skill set is on full display here, from jazzy, forward-thinking progressions to club-ready material. The best part is that Crush never makes you choose, seamlessly interweaving the elegant and exhilarating. For a journey that is equal parts mesmerizing, distorted, and aquatic, don’t be afraid to take the plunge into Floating Points’ magical aura. It just might change your outlook on electronic music forever.



s
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Comments:Add a Comment 
SowingSeason
Moderator
June 9th 2021


38102 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This isn't a long write-up, but I felt like it captured what I love about Floating Points - and especially this particular album - so much.

This is my 550th publishing on the site and I wanted to dedicate it to something special, plus this album really needed a review.

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GhandhiLion
June 9th 2021


12586 Comments


Wow props for reviewing this

Digging: William Parker - Migration of Silence Into and Out of the Tone World (Volumes 1?10)

Ryus
June 9th 2021


23905 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

not what i expected you to review but

nice

Digging: Ronald Reagan - Speaks Out Against Socialized Medicine

Ryus
June 9th 2021


23905 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

dont love this as whole but lesalpx is a masterpiece

GhandhiLion
June 9th 2021


12586 Comments


Have you heard kuiper ryus?

Atari
Staff Reviewer
June 9th 2021


26583 Comments


nice, love electronic lately so will give this a go

Ryus
June 9th 2021


23905 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"Have you heard kuiper ryus?"



at some point, probably. dont remember it tho, need to give it another go

Anthracks
June 9th 2021


6753 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this was kinda underappreciated when it came out

Digging: Unfathomable Ruination - Decennium Ruinae

SowingSeason
Moderator
June 9th 2021


38102 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'm not sure if it was underappreciated or just sort of ignored here because there was no discussion thread. But even then, this made quite a few 2019 lists iirc. I just can't believe that it took 2 years for someone to review it, and then furthermore that I was that person.

Jash
June 9th 2021


4292 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I just want to be able to play shows again so I can drop Bias on a proper sound system, such a tune

Digging: Lord Huron - Long Lost

Ryus
June 9th 2021


23905 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yep bias is great too. shadows is still his best work tho imo

Lord(e)Po)))ts
June 9th 2021


66936 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"A benchmark for modern electronic music."



That's a stretch and a half....



This is probably the closest he's gotten (solo) so far to releasing the album I know he's capable of tho

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
June 9th 2021


21017 Comments


Potsssss

SowingSeason
Moderator
June 9th 2021


38102 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"That's a stretch and a half"

Hi have we met

Lord(e)Po)))ts
June 9th 2021


66936 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Fair point



I do think it's particularly bold to make claims like that for a genre you admit to only just enjoying an occasional dabble in tho. Like what would be the reference points? Lol





SowingSeason
Moderator
June 9th 2021


38102 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I did some research which said this was important and I believed it, the gullible newb that I am

Lord(e)Po)))ts
June 9th 2021


66936 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well it's all subjective anyways. I think this dude is capable of a magnum opus of sorts, and this was on the right trajectory. But outside of a few particularly potent tracks I dont think I'll think about this album much as time passes. My benchmark would be Amnioverse, personally, to no one's surprise.

Lord(e)Po)))ts
June 9th 2021


66936 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Also you might like Jacques Greene's album Dawn Chorus, also from 2019, if you liked this. A few of the tracks there remind me of some of the stuff here.

SowingSeason
Moderator
June 9th 2021


38102 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah I know very little electronic stuff so I'll take that rec as well as your personal benchmark and run with them

luci
June 9th 2021


12572 Comments


"A benchmark for modern electronic music."

it really isn't though. better to just say you love something without outsized claims of its importance

i've never cared for floating points but I echo potsy's claim that he's capable of something exceptional one day. his sound design rules but the songcraft has always been dull to me



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