By now the name Floating Points probably rings a bell even for those living under rocks. Within a year of arriving on the scene he’s been feted by music fans and critics of all stripes, storming best of lists with four spectacular releases for R2 Records, Planet Mu, and his own Eglo Records. It’s hardly surprising, then, that Sam Shepherd’s first record of 2010 has admirers drooling. People’s Potential first appeared as a single-sided white label earlier this year, but those who waited (myself included) have been rewarded with full artwork and a second track, “Shark Chase.”
When we make our year end lists we divide our favorite music into two categories: albums and singles. But the definition of an album is constantly shifting as evinced when Shackleton declared Three EPs was not an album but rather, well, three EPs. While many will still slot the release into their albums list, it got me thinking. Between singles and albums lists we miss a crucial group, especially for electronic music: the 12″ EP. More than a single but not quite an LP, the 12″ allows producers to execute their vision over the course of around 20 minutes. For me, these records contained some 2009’s best music.
To say it has been a good year for Sam Shepard, aka Floating Points, is a gross understatement. He started 2009 as a relative unknown, but thanks to four faultless releases has quickly become an exciting new talent keenly watched by all manner of musical enthusiasts. His debut 7″ release, “For You,” quickly pricked up the ears of purveyors of chalky hip-hop and squashed funk before he grabbed the listening cavities of house heads with the endless cresting waves of sunshine on wax via “Love Me Like This.” Left-footed dubstep pundits were also sated with his “J&W Beat” twelve on Mu and now he returns with possibly his best work yet on his own imprint with the “Vacuum EP.”