An old friend pointed me in the direction of Sam Shepherd a.k.a. Floating Points, who is a neuroscientist by day, and a groundbreaking musician during all other hours. Shepherd’s music streams and fizzes through 2-step, the gossamer-thin electronica of Four Tet, and the glitchiness of the Brainfeeder label; forces coalesce on the Shadows EP, which opens with the mesmerising “Myrtle Avenue“.

Like a supernova, the song expands into a burst of luminescence that briefly outshines the galaxy. Free-rolling Rhodes piano trills waft over a beat that recalls early Flying Lotus. The bass is intermittent, occasionally acquiring mass as if reacting with the Higgs boson. Four minutes in, we get disco-from-the-end-of-the-universe chords, pulsing from a creamy analogue synthesizer. Above it weaves a warbling, tremulous lead, far removed from hoi polloi. Near the close of an extended coda, the faint voice of some unidentifiable soul diva beams in; it’s there only momentarily, buzzing like a heavenly insect trapped in a faraway fridge.

Times crawls forward, but inside “Myrtle Avenue” you feel like you’ve lived through from the Big Bang to the birth and death of a civilisation.

“Myrtle Avenue” is taken from the Shadows EP by Floating Points, released on Eglo Records in November 2011.


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