Musician, DJ and all round smart cookie Sam Shepherd – aka Floating Points – entered the world of production in 2009 with a flurry of releases including Love Me Like This, J&W Beat and perhaps best of all, the Vacuum EP. These revealed a signature style that breezily combined deep house, soul, hip-hop and jazzy textures into dubby, undulating joints characterised by a hypnotic sense of movement. As a co-founder and central member of the tight knit Eglo Records family, Shepherd now juggles his time between DJing (he holds a residency at London’s Plastic People), producing his own music and studying for a PhD in neuroscience. As far as life commitments go, it’s a diverse and eclectic stew that shines through every time he DJs, with sets that regularly veer from jagged IDM to heaving techno and classic disco and funk.
Since that initial slew of releases, solo Floating Points material has been relatively scarce – unsurprising considering Shepherd’s hectic lifestyle – yet amazingly he admits to having 30 tracks finished and ready for release. The rightly lauded “Shark Chase/People’s Potential” 12″ emerged from the shadow of the Vacuum EP in early 2010, and in more recent times we’ve seen the much-discussed “Marilyn” and equally delicious “Sais” dub. Then there’s his production work for Eglo chanteuse Fatima and his pride and joy, the Floating Points Ensemble, which debuted with the “Post Suite” single on venerable London imprint Ninja Tune. Juno Plus scribe Helen Luu caught up with Shepherd after his vinyl-only set at the recent MUTEK festival in Montreal to chat about why he doesn’t want to make a solo album, his scientific alter ego and his audiophile passion for the EMT German broadcast turntable.