Adventures with Nick Muir: Kuala Lumpur, Canada, and the Origin of Floorjam

Lauren Krieger

Catch up with Nick Muir and get ready for a special sixth anniversary episode of Floorjam

Nick Muir has been busy. From traveling through the Sumatran jungle to diving into the studio, this year has been full of wild adventures with deep underground music as his soundtrack. Releases on labels including Krafted Underground, Perspectives Digital, and of course Bedrock, have been keeping the production side thriving while his gigs in locations like Belgrade, Buenos Aires, and Bristol keep the crowds in tune with what’s going on. One thing is for sure: no matter where he is, Nick Muir always brings the best of the underground – the community, the energy, the music – with him.

Fortunately at FRISKY we get to catch up with Nick all year long through his show Floorjam. Always distinctive and driving, Floorjam brings that dance floor filling vibe to the airwaves on every episode. Celebrating 6 years on FRISKY with the next episode airing on September 24th, Floorjam continues to be a consistent source for exceptional sounds. And while so much has changed in the past 6 years, the show has continuously showcased Nick’s unyielding passion for pursuing and sharing all that’s fresh and fulfilling in electronic music.

To celebrate the anniversary and learn about his upcoming Canadian tour, I was so happy to catch up with Nick Muir again. Check out his latest below, and be sure to tune into the next episode of Floorjam on September 24th @ 12PM EST [convert timezone] or listen anytime after on-demand with a FRISKY Premium Subscription.

[Cover Photo Credit: Jiro KL]

At Jiro

It’s been a while since we’ve caught up, what’s new & wonderful in your world?

Hi Ms. Solefield,

So I’ve been away to the exotic east, did a gig in Kuala Lumpur and took the opportunity to go into the Sumatran jungle, say hi to the orangutans and eat dinner at night on the ground by candlelight with the distant lightning silhouetting the jungle canopy – just like any old Tuesday really! Also I’ve been in the studio quite a lot, John (Digweed) has been receiving a lot of interesting remix requests lately and I’ve been helping him with those; played a great little underground event in Manchester called Up Close & Personal, did a remix for Betoko and another for Dharmalogy & Sanjay Dutta on Perspectives – it’s all good!

Can you share some favorite moments from those experiences?

Jiro in Kuala Lumpur was pretty mad, played with DJs Alan Tand and Terence C who did wonderful b2b sets before and after mine – when John did that circuit he always insisted that Terence did the warm up – these guys are expert selectors, right on the money and lovely guys. The promoter, Malaysian Adam (some might remember him from his days at Gatecrasher in the UK) took us to see the sights, it was fantastic.

At Jiro

Is there a particular scene that stood out to or surprised you?

I played Belgrade, Serbia recently, I really didn’t quite know what to expect but the scene there was really great. The crowd was really clued up and the guys from there who also played, Audiostorm and Mirza Migazz really knew their stuff – great DJ’s. I shared the night with Darin Epsilon who smashed it of course, like he always does.

You’ve got an exciting Canada tour coming up too, can you share some details about the events and what you’re looking forward to?

Yes, I leave in a couple of days as of now – the idea for these dates was hatched at the Frisky event in the W hotel at ADE last year at which I met Amber Long, the Canadian DJ/vocalist. She suggested it might be possible for me to go and play some dates, gave me some contacts and we pulled it together. We are playing together in Toronto on the 22nd September at the Bunker.

That’s the last gig of the tour so should be a riot. She has been amazing, I got her to vocalise on a remix I did for Javier Benitez and John Joseph of their track ‘Our Rock’ which was a huge record for us, she played at Progressive Astronaut just last week and we all met up, brilliant vibe, fantastic music and great DJ’s.

The other dates are 14th Sept at Le Salon Daome, Montreal with Bryan Wolf Ear of Strangetown recordings [event page], 15th for Habitat Living Sound in Calgary [event page], 21st for Institution, Winnipeg at the Footw3rk club [event page] and as I already mentioned 22nd at The Bunker, Toronto (note: new venue TBA) [event page]. I am a dual national, British/Canadian so this visit is extra special for me. My dad was from there and I have family in Canada who I will get to see – sooo looking forward to it!

With Amber Long

How would you describe the atmosphere or energy of your DJ sets lately?

Anyone who knows anything about Bedrock knows that we are committed to the music we play, what it is and what it does. I was lucky to meet John all those years ago because it gave me the chance to be involved in music I really believe in. Listening to John back in the early days gave me an understanding of what he was trying to achieve through the music he played, how to set up a groove and maintain it and how to tell some kind of a story in the process. I like to think that it’s a sound I’m playing, not just a bunch of records. The feeling of anticipation and excitement, the momentum and imagination is what we’re looking for in our music. I’m aiming to celebrate 20 years of being involved with the label and the feeling behind it all.

What do you find is the main focus or purpose of your show Floorjam?

Well firstly, I’d like to thank everyone at FRISKY for giving me the chance to do the show, it’s been a joy. I get to check in with a show which gives me the chance to review where I’m at with the music, it’s a showcase for the music that I’ve been into at the time and I try to distill the essence of that into an hour long burst. Its a snapshot.

I first used the name Floorjam in ’93, I had a record out called Stoneage and Floorjam was the moniker I used. I remember being at Bagleys in King’s Cross in ’92, much the worse for wear but having the time of my life and the name popped into my head. I spent the rest of the evening trying to remind myself of it – was it Freejam? No… Freeload? No – ah yes, FLOORJAM! I rescued the name from the carnage of the evening! I remember hearing someone at Club UK in Wandsworth mixing with all the top end rolled off, just this amazing sounding bass end bumping and grooving, so physical – literally a floor jam. Heady days!

Has your approach to the show has changed over the past 6 years? What about your approach to the music in general?

In many ways the music itself dictates how your mixes change. I feel I’m always reaching for the same goal but I listen back to mixes a few years back and realise the music is in a completely different place now. The sound of some tracks now is just fantastic, the quality and sheer size of some of the productions is breathtaking. Competing is no mean feat! These younger guys coming through have been brought up with computer music and they are so adept at expressing themselves in that medium. They are not at all phased by the limitless possibilities that are available to them. Darn it.

With Brian Cid

Are there any producers that you are particularly excited about right now?

I’ve so enjoyed playing Monkey Safari’s tracks these past few months. Dance floor sensibilities that hit the nail right on the head – controlled, trippy and just make you want to move. Also Fairmont’s recent EP for Bedrock – they make other tracks sound teeny tiny. Just try and get your tracks to sound like that and let me know how you get on!

Is there anything within the industry / community that you are really enjoying or are happy about lately?

You’re right, the implication in your question is that there is some kind of community spirit in the scene and that is the case more now than it has ever been. The attitude of the people that support the scene is that they’re interested in having a great night out, they’re enthusiastic about the music and they’re not into being ‘moody’. It’s not for everybody but there’s plenty of stuff to choose from (which is a good thing) – I’ve met some truly brilliant people along the way, had some wonderful times and lots of laughs. That’s what it’s all about really.

With Ian Dillon

What can we look forward to hearing on your anniversary episode?

I thought for a change I would use part of a live show so the mix will be a chunk of the set I played in Kuala Lumpur – it was an absolutely mad night, I promise you. Hope I can get back out that way next year for yet more madness!

I’m excited to hear it!

Listen to the latest episode of Freejam, er… Freeload… no – Floorjam right now!:

Nick Muir – Floorjam