Formats and Editions
3. Free Wifi
6. Death (Pt. 2)
9. Heaven Is Each?Other
12. C (Featuring The?Voice?Of Fred Moten)
The follow-up to his acclaimed Constellation debut Third Album released in lockdown spring2020, Markus Floats returns with Fourth Album, pushing the Montréal-based artist's distinctabstract electronic compositions into newly evocative terrain (while preserving his recordtitling literalism). Faced with another couple of years spent unexpectedly, though notunfamiliarly, secluded and studio-bound, working on both paintings and music, Floatsemerged by the end of 2022 with a set of tracks "about 60% finished" and a determineddesire to throw off the shackles of distancing and isolation. "I had always thought aboutMarkus Floats as a solo project but I am wrong about that. Fourth Album is about asking forhelp, inviting in, and making a home. It's about trust, exploration, and the effort of letting go."Sharing his in-progress recordings with a trio of close friends and collaborators from thepowerhouse free music ensemble Egyptian Cotton Arkestra, each of these players then spent aday improvising to the tracks at Montréal's Hotel2Tango studio. With violin by Ari Swan,saxophone and mbira by James Goddard, and guitar and drums by Lucas Huang, Floatsstitched their extemporized instruments back into his compositional process. The result is afluid, lustrous, dynamic expansion of his sound and structure that continues to strike theineffable balance of abstraction and soulfulness rightly highlighted and celebrated in thecritical response to Third Album. Fourth Album sustains much of that previous work'senchanting equanimity, while inviting a bit more restlessness, accident and grit, with theincorporation of acoustic instruments and improvisation melding Floats' own background inElectroacoustic Studies and Jazz Performance more than ever before.Signature avant-electronic explorations of arpeggiated and timbral transformation, subtleshifts in harmonic consonance and dissonance, and a through-composed praxis that drawscoterminously upon free jazz, musique concrète and modern Minimalism, all continue toshape Fourth Album to great effect. But an additional palette of sonic and gestural rawmaterial is now also decidedly "out-of-the-box", charting a wider range of gestures, texturesand temporalities. Fourth Album complexifies and intensifies across it's 12 tracks, thematizingdualities and introducing new elements of play and accident, even a sort of looseness hereand there, as it conjures communal expressivity within shorter, still scrupulous formalstructures. Fourth Album also for the first time includes spoken word as a recorded element,previously only (and always) a feature of Markus Floats live performances. The album's finaltrack samples the poet and activist Fred Moten, closing with these words: "What we've beentrying to figure out how to get to is how we are when we get together to try to figure it out."This koan of socially-engaged process and creation/advancement of meaning through praxisand immanence reflects the unique fusion of intangible materiality and affective sensibility atwork in Markus Floats music, unfolding in new depths and currents with Fourth Album.