Review: Floating Points @ Shelter

April 11, 2019

The average DJ headlining an Amsterdam club on a Saturday night will have spent about a week handpicking the records to be played. Keeping up with trends and inserting several crowd-pleasers, the average DJ goes to great lengths to prove her/his worthiness for that magical time slot. Not Floating Points. If anything, his set last Saturday (06/04) at the Shelter's Rush Hour Weekender proved that he is not this average DJ. Instead he demonstrated just how well he masters the craft of DJing. A craft that requires precision and patience, two of his characteristic assets.

 

 [ Photo © Shelter Amsterdam ]

 

Sam Shepherd, a.k.a. Floating Points, has a reputation of being a tirelessly persistent producer who stops at nothing to get whatever sound he wants from his instruments. As his other self, the DJing Floating Points, Shepherd is equally (or perhaps even more so) accurate in defining his sound. The exhibition of his practice at the decks had Shelter mesmerised right from the onset.

 

The two-hour one-man-show kicked off with rather intimate and ambient tracks that were mixed to the point of indistinguishability. This is exactly what Shepherd is best at: creating, from a single groove, a world of untraceable sounds that eventually collapses when a teeth-grinding bass-kick kicks in. As said above, DJing is a craft that requires precision and patience. This is where his producer-ego overlaps with his mixing skills. It is the creation of ad hoc compositions able to both entice and ignite a dance floor. 

 

 [ Photo © Shelter Amsterdam ]

 

In the rest of his set Shepherd took the crowd by the hand and led them down the rabbit hole. From nu-jazz to old school jungle, and straight-up-techno to (what I recon is) "salsa house”, he had his audience in constant wonder of what could follow next; all the while dancing. Legend has it he teamed up back-to-back with Antal — his initial successor in the booth — around 6am and continued well into the daytime. By then I had left the bunker and made my way home by bike, delighted and satisfied by yet another amazing Floating Points solo set. 

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