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Electronic - Released March 26, 2021 | Luaka Bop

Hi-Res Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Pitchfork: Best New Music
As many classically-inspired composers have moved from acoustic instruments into electronics, the possibilities of collaboration with jazz players has increased. Despite instrumental firepower and the best intentions, the history of jazz-classical blendings—specifically with tenor players like Wayne Shorter, Anthony Braxton and Ornette Coleman—has been mixed, finding the most success when the reeds are an integral part of the composition. Here the wise, eminently accomplished 80-year-old Pharoah Sanders—whose career has lived for the edges—has teamed with young UK composer Floating Points (aka Sam Shepherd) and the strings of the London Symphony Orchestra for a realization of Shepherd's "Promises." A collaboration of nine unnamed movements that run as one long (46:37) intricately constructed piece, Shepherd's plethora of keyboards (many of them vintage synthesizers) effectively mesh with Sanders' gift for breathy, urgent skronking. Recorded at Los Angeles' Sargent Studio and London's Air Studios, and mixed by Shepherd at EMS4 in London, Promises is dreamy, mysterious and close-miked to the point where you can hear Shepherd's fingers on the keys.Built around Shepherd's slow, rhythmic repetition of a similar note pattern first on harpsichord, then organ and later on vintage analog synthesizers—and often rendered in a harp-like tone– Promises starts out slowly and quietly with a full-toned Sanders at his most accessible, at times aping the repetitive rhythm of this percussion-less composition. As Shepherd keeps up this pattern, he progressively adds keyboard lustres, and at the 10-minute mark plays a solo where he bends and twists notes on a synth, while Sanders wordlessly jabbers before adding robust phrases and statements on his horn. As the piece continues, the recurring pattern returns over which Sanders shows a rarely displayed lyrical side to his playing before a solo violin announces the entrance of the LSO conducted by Sally Herbert. The massed strings gradually build and the piece turns lush with high and low strings washing across the soundstage with gorgeous presence and majesty. Building to an early climax, Promises becomes a cinematic whirl of dense string textures before winding back down to just the recurring note pattern. At the 34-minute mark, another climax occurs as shimmering waves of synth textures dissolve into a twinkling stasis before the rhythmic pattern reasserts itself accompanied by simple loops that rise and fall in tone and volume. Sanders adds urgent assertions before smoothing out into a legato moan. Not surprisingly, Promises concludes with more B-3 organ, the sound of whisking on a loop, rising synth chords and the dramatic return of violins for a final flourish. While one can wish for more Sanders (or even more LSO), Shepherd's skill with his gang of keyboards creates infinite musical forms and flexibilities that are the central feature of this scenic and assured sound. © Robert Baird/Qobuz

Electronic - Released October 18, 2019 | Ninja Tune

Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music
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After the release of his album Elaenia in 2015, Sam Shepherd was dubbed one of Britain’s most talented young producers. He then decided to set off on tour for a good while to explore the world of jazz, bringing an entire band with him. After this, rather out of the blue, he ended up performing live each night as the opening act on The xx’s 2017 tour. Having to improvise all alone with a Buchla synth in front of 20,000 people for an hour and a half makes you rethink things. “I thought what I’d come out with would be really melodic and slow-building, but what I ended up playing was some of the most obtuse and aggressive music I’ve ever made. It was liberating”. And that’s exactly what comes cross on the album – which, in a nutshell, is a display of creativity, hybridization and open-mindedness. The gifted English electronic musician mixes 2 step jazz and electronica on the simply divine Last Bloom, dabbles in drum ‘n’ bass on Anasickmodular and nods towards UK bass on LesAlpx. His competition has some catching up to do. © Smaël Bouaici/Qobuz

Electronic - Released November 6, 2015 | Pluto

Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music
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Electronic - Released March 29, 2019 | Late Night Tales

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Electronic - Released April 7, 2020 | Ninja Tune

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Electronic - Released November 21, 2011 | Pluto

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Electronic - Released July 12, 2019 | Ninja Tune

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House - Released June 23, 2014 | Eglo Records

Electronic - Released September 28, 2009 | Pluto

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House - Released December 8, 2014 | Eglo Records

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Electronic - Released August 28, 2019 | Ninja Tune

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Electronic - Released July 22, 2016 | Pluto

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Electronic - Released December 20, 2010 | Ninja Tune

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Electronic - Released June 18, 2019 | Ninja Tune

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Electronic - Released October 1, 2019 | Ninja Tune

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Electronic - Released March 29, 2019 | Late Night Tales

Pop - Released January 28, 2018 | Sam Shepherd

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Electronic - Released March 29, 2019 | Late Night Tales

Electronic - Released November 14, 2011 | Pluto

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Electronic - Released June 27, 2011 | Pluto

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