Think of solo artists and Dylanesque troubadours come to mind, tortured souls who find sweet solace on the strings of an acoustic guitar. Danish multi-instrumentalist Brian Batz (aka Sleep Party People) is the other type, a musician – like M83’s Anthony Gonzalez – who must work on ideas alone to achieve uncompromisingly complex, dynamic albums where an acoustic is nowhere to be seen. Floating is a big sounding, vaguely unsettling, album where drums boom and cascade through the speakers and swathes of lush electronica and disembodied voices compete with discordant shoegazey guitars.
Sublime opening track ‘Change In Time’ has shimmering Cocteau Twins guitars working neatly alongside Batz’s eerie falsetto (his heavily processed vocals take a little getting used to). On the vaguely futuristic ‘Death Is the Future’ he eschews vocals altogether, instead allowing the song to be propelled by a retro-electro melody that is battered by those big drums again. ‘I See The Sun, Harold’ sounds like a stoned Pink Floyd outtake (which is a good thing, of course).
At times, Batz fails to bring all his competing ideas together in an effective manner. When he simplifies matters though, the results are better, like on the excellent ‘I See The Moon’ with its simple motorik beat brilliantly complimenting the ghostly vocals of Lisa Light. Floating is an album where past, present and future unify into something quite distinctive and, more often than not, quite brilliant, too.