Sound System 2016: Floating Points

Sound System returns to Primavera this year with yet another excellent line-up of exemplary DJs. In the lead up to the festival we talked to Floating Points about the importance of dynamics, his favourite DJs and which tracks he’s looking forward to playing out.

Floating Points’ debut album Eleania is out now. We urge you to buy it.

Which other DJ’s do you admire?

A long long list! But mostly people who dig hard and are committed to moulding the spirit of a party – Red Greg, DJ Love on the Run, Layla, Kieran, Dan, Ben UFO, Theo Parrish, Sadar, Mafalda, Cosmic Tom, Egon, Gilles

Your album has a lot of depth and subtlety and builds beautifully – definitely music that bears repeated listening. Is this something you strive for?

Very kind of you to say. Indeed, I do strive for this yes.

You’ve mentioned that you were influenced by the way Talk Talk recorded their seminal album Laughing Stock. That intensity is clear in your record particularly if you listen to it on headphones. What other artists’ have influenced the making of your album?

The list is endless. I listen to a lot of music and it would all have shaped the record in some way I imagine. I refer often to the Talk Talk album because it was such a life changing experience hearing it for the first time. Steve Kuhn’s self titled LP too.

Given the care you put into making an album, is there a perfect listening environment for your music?

Absolutely not. The perfect listening environment is entirely dependent on the listener themselves. I often find myself hearing & feeling different things in music when juxtaposed in other environments.

Are you just as happy for people to listen to it from their phones as an MP3?

Yep

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We read that you started a six hour set at Berghain with the whole of Pharoah Sander’s Harvest Time. Do you set out to challenge your audiences or do you play what you want and hope they stick with it?

A little of the latter perhaps, but in that case, I was about to play for 6 hours or so, 20 minutes of an incredible Pharaoh record sets the scene pretty nicely!

I have faith that there’s enough patience in the room, but also it feels strange to have fear that the collective attention span can’t handle longer records..

Can you imagine someone playing Elaenia in its entirety as part of their set?

I haven’t until you mention it. I know Kieran’s been playing ‘For Marmish’ out. 

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The reason we built the Sound System is because we wanted to see if we could bring proper hi-fi clarity to a club whilst losing none of the power and bass. We wanted something that would transport the audience. Are the dynamics of a club important to you?

Dynamics of a sound system? Absolutely. One of the most important things. No dynamics in a system means that people lose the ability to tell the difference between loud and quiet signals. Somewhere between these there’s the magic and “air” of recordings that evaporates without fast and decent amplification. When music is loud all night, dance floors & ears become fatigued!

What 3 tracks you would play to really put the Sound System through its paces?

Off the top of my head:

Gloria Anne Taylor – Love is a Hurting Thing

Jesse Gould – Out of Work

Digital Mystykz – Unexpected

Floating Points will be playing Sound System at Primavera, Thursday 2nd June.

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