An all-vinyl session from one of the UK's most exciting DJs.
Like several other DJs we've featured on the RA Podcast lately, Jossy Mitsu got her break in DJing through hard work. It's a classic story: she moved from Birmingham to London, worked the fabric cloakroom and then DJ'd wherever she could. She taught herself how to mix records and has been collecting music since she was 15, making it her mission to share with the world. That mix of self-sufficiency and intense work ethic led to Mitsu adopting a hybrid sound—it's cutting edge, yes, but also personal, blending records from across eras and scene. Her DJing feels equally inspired by the UK's hardcore continuum, the country's current wave of broken, leftfield techno and hip-hop, a sound that Mitsu explores under her other alias CELIIINE.
You can hear the threads of those styles weaved together on Mitsu's striking debut EP, Planet J, which came out this past February on Astral Black. It mixes techno aesthetics with swung UK garage and post-dubstep bassweight in a way that feels fresh and unusual, like she's putting the pieces together in a way no one else has before.
You might get that feeling from her mix, too. It's a thrilling mix of drum & bass, experimental club, grime and more, cycling through generations of UK producers with tracks from Blackdown, Warlock, Mani Festo, Djrum and more. Mitsu mixes with urgency but poised, a confidence all the more impressive given that this was her first all-vinyl set in quite some time. The vinyl format also lets her go deeper into her collection, tying together the newest wave of UK dance music producers with their predecessors—an intergenerational sort of narrative that could only come from a keen, talented curator. In other words, it's excellent.
What have you been up to recently?
I've mainly been planning and putting things in place for the busy year ahead as we all get ready for clubs to reopen! I also released my first EP on Astral Black a few months ago, which was all very new to me, but it went well. I've been dedicating a lot of time to production, teaching myself new techniques and just putting hours in to develop further!
How and where was the mix recorded?
It's a 100 percent vinyl mix recorded at my house in Birmingham, on Technics 1210s (my pride and joy) and a Pioneer DJM-700 connected to my laptop using a trusty sound card.
Can you tell us about the idea behind the mix?
I haven't done a vinyl mix for a long time, so it's a showcase of some of my favourites from my collection, as well as newer records I've bought recently. I enjoyed the challenge of mixing the old and new across different styles and moving up in BPM as the mix progresses. It's so easy to get used to mixing quickly and being able to speed up easily on CDJs, every time I go back to vinyl I have to humble myself a bit and take my time, but I really love it and find the process so stimulating!
Why did you choose to go all-vinyl for this mix?
I've been doing mixes and radio shows quite regularly throughout lockdown and they've mostly followed my normal format and approach, so I wanted to do something different and out of my comfort zone! When I was living in London I didn't have space for turntables, but I've been lucky to have my Technics set up here in Birmingham with my collection so it's been a blessing to get back into mixing vinyl over the past year. This mix was my opportunity to show something for that, and I loved the challenge and focus it took to make it work and blend my older and newer records.
You play a wide variety of music, but I sense a common sound/theme to what you play. What do you look for in the records that you pick for DJing?
I pretty much just go off feeling and self-indulgence, which means I can normally tell quite quickly whether I like something or not! I'm usually attracted to bass-heavy and percussive tracks with some sort of creativity or attitude somewhere but it can also be really simple and I'll have it on repeat. As long as there's some sort of attraction or feeling I get from it, whether that be tension, energy, darkness, soul or fun, it doesn't matter the style, I'll try to find a context for it to work!
What are you up to next?
I'm currently working on a second EP and some other exciting production projects that I can't say much on but I'm super excited about! I'm also majorly looking forward to getting to play again after so long, but probably even more excited to just be in raves and see my friends DJ. It's a combination of pure excitement and anticipation with a touch of nerves!