“Sam Shepherd seems set to become one of his generation’s musicians to watch, and a potential legend in the making.”
– Electronic Sound
Floating Points‘s Elaenia was my favourite album of 2015 by far, and was responsible for me beginning to realise that fusing electronics with jazz wasn’t quite as naff as everyone had told me it was. Consequently I was ridiculously excited to get the chance to review Sam Shepherd’s latest album for Electronic Sound, an album where he had moved from solo artist to de facto band leader.
Reflections – Mojave Desert is a major progression on from Elaenia, where the addition of extra musicians has allowed Shepherd to more precisely express what he was clearly to do back in 2015 but couldn’t when his only tools were samples and electronics. To fully understand the exacting process Shepherd went through to create the five tracks on the album, an accompanying film showed the group performing and collecting sounds amid the breathtaking backdrop of the Joshua Tree National Park.
The result is an album full of finely-wrought atmospherics and complex arrangements that showcases Shepherd’s strong appreciation of jazz music history and his ability to push things in a thoroughly modern direction.
Listen to Reflections – Mojave Desert here.
Electronic Sound can be purchased at www.electronicsound.co.uk.
(c) 2017 Mat Smith / Documentary Evidence