Following up Floating Points’ widely acclaimed Elaenia was always going to be difficult, but Kuiper finds Sam Shepherd eschewing the typically episodic tendency of self-contained music releases. This EP reveals Shepherd’s stream of thought never ended when “Peroration Six” cut to black; he picks up here where that song left off, with a two-track snapshot of a rise and comedown after his full-length’s breathless end.
The first of Kuiper’s tracks evokes the long-awaited ending scene that Elaenia might have had, painstakingly moulded by a manic writer who’s been unleashed by a creative epiphany. Uncompromisingly focused compared to the cocktail of erratic emotion occupying the previous release, the title track groans to life in a gripping orchestral rise. Most of its 18 minutes consists of a peppery bass line mapping out where hi-hat strikes will land, while the remainder mimics a gripping, thunderous Bond theme.
The reverse side, “For Marmish II,” provides a more distinguishable comparison to its predecessor on Elaenia. The noticeably jumpy crackling in the chords of the first version are superseded by rhythmic organs operating at a slow, uninterrupted tempo. Odd claps guide the loop like intermittent lights along a desolate midnight road.
The record is comfortably balanced between different periods of Shepherd’s work, derailing expectation surrounding followups, all while still obfuscating the line between analog and digital. For Floating Points, it’s business as usual.