Floating Points is such a good fit for Late Night Tales that it’s kind of surprising that this album didn’t come around sooner. The artist known to his friends as Sam Shepherd doesn’t disappoint here, coming through with some gorgeous selections to ensure that the wait was more than worth it.
Late Night Tales: Floating Points splits roughly down the middle. After opening with an exclusive track of Sarah Davachi’s eerily beautiful ambience ‘Untitled, Live In Portland’, the first half of the mix is made up of psychedelic soul and avant-jazz. Trippy takes such as The Rationals’ 1969 song ‘Glowin’’ and Sweet & Innocent’s ‘Express Your Love’ play nicely off of cuts like William S. Fischer’s ‘Chains’, a 1970 joint which sounds like spiritual jazz as arranged by Serge Gainsbourg.
The inclusion of Davachi’s number makes more sense as you get into the mix’s second half. Kara-Lis Coverdale’s ‘Moments In Love’, a distant cousin of the Davachi piece, signals a change of pace when it comes in as the twelfth track. From here on out Floating Points lets us drift away into the ether. A variety of ambiences, from Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith’s New Age-influenced style to the Oval-esque tones of Toshimaru Nakamura, help us to get out there.
This mix saves its highest points for the home straight. The penultimate number here is the only moment in which Shepherd steps out from behind the decks and into the spotlight. Sat at the electric piano, Shepherd performs a rendition of Kenny Wheeler’s massed brass composition ‘The Sweet Time Suite, Part 1 - Opening’. The lush harmonies transpose perfectly to the keyboard and set the scene exquisitely for the mix’s final track. Lauren Laverne’s reading of Emily Brontë’s ‘Ah!, Why, Because The Dazzling Sun’ might be the most fitting ending to any of the Late Night Tales.