Interview with Lokke Highstein – Music Director of the PS-1 Museum in Queens, NY.

Be sure to check out the legend LoveBug Starski on Saturday August 13. link

How do you think the series has changed over the years?
Warm Up started as a way to attract a new audience to the museum, it was not originally conceived as a fundraiser or a tastemaker event. By the time I returned to NYC from San Francisco, it had grown into a huge event that both generated income and also had a dedicated following with an unusually open-minded attitude towards new music.

I saw it as a chance to expose this special crowd to a wider variety of music than they had ever heard before, and I shifted the focus to both bringing back legendary innovators like Trax, Mad Professor, and Afrika Bambaataa, as well as bringing more exposure to under-known artists like Lindstrom & Prins Thomas, Force of Nature, and DJ Tyson.

In addition to selecting the DJs, you’re also a DJ and have mixed it up at a Warm Up or two. Both are curatorial in nature, but you get a bit dirtier when you’re actually doing the spinning. What are your thoughts/feelings on picking the DJs versus getting in the trenches and picking the music.
The DJs surprise me a lot with what they do, more often than not, so I really don’t have that much control. All I can do is hope that the music will go a certain way. So in that way it can be hard to be hands off, since I have been DJing for so many years. There is nothing like doing it myself, but I have a lot of respect for the artists and want them to express and really push themselves.

You mentioned that the DJs often surprise you. How so?
I had no idea Mad Professor was going to remix his songs live in the way that he did… I thought he would have a lot of stuff pre-programmed but he was just lightning fast with his hands on the faders, controlling the delays and reverbs by ear. I was stunned. It was a huge learning experience for me.

The funny thing is that I had people complain to me that he wasn’t “mixing” the records (He would play one song and then pause and load in the next one) people didn’t realize he wasn’t playing a DJ set, he was mixing his old records down in a new way right in front of our eyes.

How do you find the artists?
Although we do accept demo submissions and we have booked one or two people from them, most of the DJs booked for Warm Up are people that Jason and I have found through going out and listening, listening to sets online, or checking out sets on recommendations of friends.