Floating Points, Abstract Science, Rob Sevier | Metro | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Floating Points, Abstract Science, Rob Sevier 18+ Early Warnings (Music) Recommended Soundboard Image

When: Sat., May 7, 9 p.m. 2016

In 2009 underground electronic music reached a point where genres and styles combined in exciting and unexpected ways—’ardkore and dubstep, glitch and hip-hop, IDM and house—and releases were increasingly difficult to assign to a specific category. That same year British artist Sam Shepherd first dropped material as Floating Points, and since then his work has not only become more adventurous and unclassifiable but has reached a stage where it barely even resembles electronic music. His early singles kind of sound like Nintendo scores weaving through breezy two-step beats, but gradually Floating Points mutated into something resembling jazz fusion crossed with 90s house. The superlative 2011 EP Shadows is so seamless and lush that it’s similar to early-70s jazz albums on CTI, like Freddie Hubbard’s Straight Life or Joe Farrell’s Outback. Most of Shepherd’s cuts have been issued on his own Eglo imprint, but his full-length debut, last year’s Elaenia, was released on David Byrne’s Luaka Bop, a label better known for introducing Tom Ze and Shuggie Otis to enterprising hipsters. But it’s a good fit: Elaenia runs through everything from jazzy house (“Silhouettes”) to dense, squelchy, Eno-style ambient music (“Thin Air”) to pensive, exploratory keyboard workouts that sound like mid-70s releases on ECM (“Elaenia”). It’s beautifully crafted, engaging, and somewhat experimental music—it’s not really “electronic,” and it doesn’t really matter.

Tal Rosenberg

Price: $23, $20 in advance

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