Floating Points is the pseudonym of London-based producer Sam Shepherd, who also works as a neuroscientist when he isn’t arranging for 16-piece ensembles and co-running record labels. On the surface, Shepherd would seem to have little in common with Mahmoud Guinia, a veteran master of Gnawa, the Sufi trance genre. However, as our recent “Nature of Trance” show explored, trance takes on a great variety of forms around the world, and Floating Points’ hypnotically swirling electronica makes for an exquisite counterpart for the maalem’s grooving guembri playing and impassioned vocals.
The collaboration took place last March at the Fellah Hotel in Marrakech, and is due to be released on vinyl by Eglo records, along with a 20-page photo essay. For some more truly outstanding music by Guinia, check out this post on Awesome Tapes from Africa. We hope to hear more music from this unexpectedly thrilling collaboration!