With his 2015 debut LP Elaenia, Floating Points made a startling leap from purely electronic composition to hybrid jazz mastery, using a full band to bring his creations to life for the first time. The album should have been on my best of 2015 list, but I’m doing my best to spread the word going forward.
So an artist I’ve loved for over a decade is about to release (maybe) the best album in that time, and it’s preceded by a video I’ve waited criminally long to share with everyone. I feel like a jerk. Sorry.
Are We Lost Mammals of an Approaching Transcendental Epoch?
I think so.
Evidence: A single 18 minute post-rock-esque collage of beats, spacey atmospherics, feedback skronk, beat loops, synth swells, and percussion galore; this piece has the arc of a massive Artistic Statement album, played in double time with enough dips, curveballs, and trap doors to lock interest in a firm grasp and obliterate all sense of time passing.
Primarily a visual artist, Dr. Strangeloop (seriously, check his vimeo page now) met Brainfeeder head honcho Flying Lotus in art school, where the two became fast friends, smoking and playing atari while working on film and music. Currently VJ-ing Brainfeeder events and working on new music, this is his first release, created about a year ago. He has this to say about the track:
“I made it about a year ago, and it is probably the strangest thing I’ve ever shepherded into this world. It is one track, 18 minutes long, very lo-fi, and I picture it as some sort of narrative about the Singularity, mystical states, and the evolution of man. It is more post-rock influenced than the stuff I’m working on now, and is divided into three idiosyncratic movements.“
So that pretty much sums it up. This video gives a good taste.
ROVO. Readers of my previous post about this galaxy-shattering band, the gravitationally powerful Mon, know that I’m beyond crazy for them. It’s more of a physical and spiritual impulse at this point.
The “man-drive trance” outfit has evolved from what was (mistakenly) believed to be a side project for Boredoms guitarist Seiichi Yamamoto into a pre-eminent percussive juggernaut with a genre all its own and a die hard fan base ever eager for further permutations of their uniquely pulsing energy signature.
Pyramid, released in 2000, is a single 43 minute track situated neatly between the more obviously electronically enhanced early sound and the more sophisticated, minimal, and directly hands-on appoach ROVO has flowered into. As expected, the incandescent electric violin of Yuji Katsui rides the tidal groove with astonishingly fluid precision while Yamamoto’s six string mastery prods and propels his bandmates while providing crucial textural detail. It’s uniquely jovial in a gentle free-jazz manner for a good portion of its running time, with meandering horns and keys dancing unfettered until the rhythmic force pulls every building block inevitably toward a torrential avalanche of tribal motorik ecstasy. The arc may be predictable, though never any less than thrilling when the band hits their warp drive lock-groove stride and rides the ensuing momentum into a rapturous eargasm. It’s a space ship jumping to light speed, the stars stretching forward eternally, minute after blissful minute.
Surrender full attention and be rewarded accordingly. And then some. And thank them personally while you’re at it.
[difficult to track down due to its original rarity and out-of-print status, i’ve found this album at jpophelp, or used copies at amazon (for an exhorbitant minimal price of $61) and amazon.jp (for ￥3,730 – under $40)]