JOSH BIRNBAUM: Turntables and Yield
Sept. 11, 1999, according to a trippy-looking flier that
Sam and Marcel Birnbaum have saved, there was a rave in
Johnson City, Tenn., and DJ Samsson was on the bill.
"This New York City DJ's trance set will set you off like
a highly reactive chemical," the flier promised.
Two years later, DJ Samsson, also known as Josh
Birnbaum, 24 and straight out of Columbia University, had
set aside his turntables for yield tables, at least for
the day, and was at his job at Cantor Fitzgerald as an
assistant bond trader.
But for Mr. Birnbaum, working on Wall Street was
mostly a means to an end: saving up enough money to open
his own recording studio. He already had a small studio
set up in his apartment near Columbia. "His dream was
music, always," said Marcel Birnbaum, his mother.
Mr. Birnbaum's father, Sam Birnbaum, is no fan of
techno or trance or any of the other myriad forms of
dance music always pounding from Josh's speakers. But he
did not mind that Josh chose a D.J. name that reflected
the love and respect he had for his father. "Are you
kidding?" Marcel Birnbaum said. "He was honored."