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Cascade

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Sam Shepherd aka Floating Points has announced his new album Cascade will be released on 13 September via Ninja Tune. Along with the announcement Shepherd has shared lead single 'Key103' which comes with visuals continuing his ongoing collaboration with Tokyo based artist Akiko Nakayama.

Cascade is an eruption of unfinished business. In late 2022, Shepherd – renowned for drifting between genres as freely as his stage name implies – found himself in the Californian desert working on something new. Mere Mortals, his first ballet score, created with the San Francisco Ballet, was to be a collision of sound and dance exploring the ancient parable of Pandora through the prism of technology. "It was one of quite a few left turns I was taking around that time", recalls Shepherd. You can say that again: Promises, his multiple end-of-year-list-topping previous record, released in 2021, had seen him swap his typical modular synth tapestries and intricate drum patterns for airy dreamscapes, crafted with late legendary saxophonist Pharoah Sanders and the London Symphony Orchestra. It was a collaboration so popular, a Mercury Prize nomination and sold-out show at the Hollywood Bowl in September 2023 followed.
Between these projects and an upcoming anime score for Adult Swim - from the outside it might have seemed as though Shepherd was departing the dance floor for good. But as he wrote his ballet score by day, at night he found himself longing for the sweaty communion of a dance floor. For the pulse-racing abandon of electronic music.

Shepherd released Crush, his rave-reviewed second studio album, in November 2019. It was hailed as one of the albums of that year by Pitchfork, The Independent, Mixmag, Loud And Quiet and more – "but I never got to explore its ravey, experimental side live", laments the musician, whose world tour was cancelled due to lockdown. Cascade was devised as a follow-on from Crush that would allow him (and audiences) to experience Floating Points in its traditional form on a dancefloor once more: bursting with Buchla rhythms, glitching melodies bewitching a room full of heaving bodies. "It’s meant to be kind of a continuation", adds Shepherd. This explains Cascade’s artwork: another colourful sleeve, full of fluid imagery (created once more by Akiko Nakayama - both vinyl editions feature landscape exclusive artwork print from Akiko Nakayama). It also explains its evocative title: like Crush, one word that implies movement, beauty and pressure. Most importantly, it explains its mesmerising sound: sumptuous sonic chasms to lose yourself in again and again.

Released: September 2024
Cat: ZEN303N
Label: Ninja Tune

Listen

Tracklist

1. Vocoder [Club Mix]
2. Key103
3. Birth4000
4. Del Oro
5. Fast Forward
6. Ocotillo
7. Afflecks Palace
8. Tilt Shift
9. Ablaze

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