- Cruise the comment sections of Floating Points-related content on Resident Advisor and the same sentiment crops up again and again: please make more music in your original style. This is a common request from dance music fans, but it seems to apply particularly strongly to the Pluto boss, AKA Sam Shepherd. His output has gone through a dramatic shift in the past three years, from gloriously quirky club tracks to meandering ambient songs that have more in common with prog rock than house and techno. As well received as recent records like Elaenia and Kuiper were, there were still grumblings. "We can all pretend we like this as much as "Vacuum Boogie" and "Nuits Sonores," but we don't really do we?" wrote one commenter in 2016.
Shepherd's latest release, a one-track EP called Ratio, feels like a compromise between his two musical worlds. At its best, the 19-minute title cut, which is so long it had to be deconstructed for vinyl, is a banging dance floor record, full of glistening melodies, synthy earworms and dynamic shifts in pace and tension. But as compelling as the first nine minutes are, it's hard to stay focussed through the gentle three-minute breakdown, let alone the subsequent seven-minute wind-down. (The shrill bleeps and driving horns that did so much in the first half never return.) Ratio won't be considered a classic, but it'll still scratch that long-endured itch.