Pink Floyd’s Live at Pompeii is famous for being the first concert film shot without an audience in attendance. Instead, all four members of the band stood in the center of an ancient Roman amphitheater, wind blowing in their hair, and simply played-- no showmanship or elaborate stage show necessary.
The latest music video from electronic/prog outfit Floating Points instantly reminds us of Live at Pompeii. Filmed without an audience in the middle of the Mojave Desert, where the group composed new music earlier this year, and the camera work and audio production makes it seem live, as opposed to dubbed. It’s just five dudes bent over their instruments, surrounded by otherworldly scenery.
Beyond that, the song in question, “Silurian Blue,” is also very reminiscent of the Floyd. A shimmering bed of gentle synth and flanged-out guitar initially rise up out of the silence, sounding like a miniature version of “Echoes,” and then the drummer strikes up a fill-heavy beat that’s straight out of Nick Mason’s playbook.
Reaching a climax around two minutes in, the band meanders around, letting it build for what seems like an endless amount of time, before finally bringing it back down to a tranquil hum. The conclusion of the nearly seven-minute-long song is where the Floyd comparison really comes to life, when an organ propels us through a jazz groove wherein the drums are just as expressive as the other instruments, a la “The Great Gig in the Sky.”
Don’t get us wrong, Floating Points have plenty more to offer than spot-on Pink Floyd tributes. Their 2015 album Elaenia explores glitchy electronica, ambient music, and even modal jazz much more than the Floyd ever did, making for an eclectic-but-smooth-flowing listen. But this time around, they’re able to offer an update on the classic band’s sound that arguably no one else in music could pull off better.