Baby, it’s cold outside. But that hasn’t cut off our internet connection yet, and we were very happy to see that we had some answers to interview questions from Mister Saturday Night’s weekend guest, Sam Shepherd aka Floating Points, in our inbox this morning. The young producer and DJ is packing his records and bags for his first ever trip to New York right now.
Keep warm, enjoy the interview, and cross your fingers that the blizzard will clear out in time for a safe and timely entry into our fair city (but still leave enough for a nice white blanket and some sledding).
Mister Saturday Night: One of the things that fascinates us about you is that you’re studying for your Ph.D. in neuroscience, something that seems about as unlikely an ambition for a professional DJ or music producer (or vice versa) as we could think of. We wonder, though, if there’s something that binds neuroscience and music together for you.
Floating Points: I’m not sure there is. I like the fact that they are quite polar ambitions. I guess I have a degree of creative freedom in science and a degree of rational design with some aspects of music… so there are definitely overlaps…
MSN: We see a lot of new producers with a couple great tracks under their belt quickly getting involved in the remix world, but we’ve only heard a couple reworks from you. Have you made a decision about only doing very particular remixes, or have you got some in the pipeline?
FP: Problem is, I don’t really have any time to do anything. I’m really concentrating on my PhD. I just finished a few remixes but am not gonna take any more on for a while now I don’t think. I just finished Fourtet, Bonobo and Dennis Ferrer remixes.
MSN: This will be your first time in New York. Is there any way you’ll prepare for this gig that you wouldn’t prepare for other gigs? And what’s your impression of current-day New York versus the New York of the past? It’s always interesting to get a perspective from someone who’s yet to experience things here.
FP: Yeah, [I’ve] never been to NY!! I live in the middle of London, and so I imagine it’s a similarly crazy place. I’ve no clue about old vs new New York without referring to the media… It’s nice that you guys are bringing back the loft party, though! I like to play the music that I like, and I just pray the audience is into it!
MSN: While you haven’t been to New York, you mentioned to us on the phone the other day that you’d gone to Chicago and Detroit for record-digging excursions. Have those trips had impact on your music beyond the records you’ve found there?
FP: Yeah, I met some wicked people on the way, both in Chicago and Detroit. If a naive English kid turns up at 119th St with an empty record bag and asks Mr. Peabody’s Records to pull out some stuff, they will take you seriously…
MSN: You used a sample of your parents’ vacuum cleaner in Vacuum Boogie. Are there any off-the-wall samples in Peoples Potential? (I should mention that the track has been bowling folks over at the last few Mister Saturday Nights.)
FP: Apart from a couple of the drum samples, that’s all original sounds in Peoples Potential. I do like to sample the banal and give it life. I think it’s a great idea to take a set of kitchen pans and make them into a dance tune for example. Herbert is amazing at this.
MSN: He most certainly is. And you, sir, are not so shabby yourself. We’re really looking forward to playing with you this weekend.