Jane Fitz

Mix 070 comes from one of Crack’s favourite DJs – Jane Fitz. Since starting the seminal Peg night in the late 90’s, Jane’s been a consistently superb force for quality wigged-out dance music, and while she calls London home, the world calls to her. As a result she’s preached the gospel to clubs, rooftops and fields of dancers from New York to Bulgaria, Detroit to Berlin and Chicago to Provence. 2014’s been no different, with visits to the mythical Freerotation festival (her Sunday afternoon set at the 2013 edition was easily one of the highlights of a festival full of them) Tresor and Weather Festival in Paris among a number of enviable bookings.

We spoke with Jane to get a bit more insight into the mix and what she’s got coming up for the rest of the year –

Tell us a bit about how the mix was put together – we heard it was a bit of a mission.
I’m sure this mix was cursed. When you first asked me to do one, the headphone socket on my mixer broke. So I bought a new mixer off eBay, but when I started recording the mix, I realised it must have a fault because one of the channels kept cutting out. Then one of the managers at Dance Tunnel said I could come in during the day to record there – that was cool but they had a rotary mixer installed that took me a while to get used to… and then about two thirds of the way through, one of the records jumps with a big pop. By this stage I thought, if I don’t give you this mix now, as it is, I don’t think I ever will. Anyway, music and programming i’m happy with it. Technically, six-and-a-half out of ten.

Were you after a certain mood or theme with the mix?
I wanted to give a fair-ish representation of the kind of thing I play out. I think a lot of podcast / mixes you hear get put together almost like you’d put together an album; most DJs I know (myself included) spend a bit of time over a mix if it’s going to be available online and I think that leads to a distinct narrative, or at least a clear beginning, middle and end. I tried to tone that down a bit this time because I was imagining being in a party setting rather than making it for a home or headphone listen. And I purposely didn’t organise the records beforehand – I picked out about 60 possibles, as if i’d packed my record bag for a party, and chose from that. I wanted it to feel a bit more live. I guess the technical hiccups add to that – although that wasn’t part of the the plan.

As usual, it’s a mix of old and new stuff; things I’ve had for years, things that have just come out and things I’ve just discovered – which is again exactly what goes into my bag when I’m out. The records I like most are either a bit deep, a bit trippy or even trance-y, a bit wonky and sometimes a bit brazen. So hopefully there’s a bit of all those in there. If there was an overriding mood, I’d say i’m really into the idea and mood of the rave. In fact i’m a bit obsessed with it at the moment. House music, in context, was originally the sound that people went a little bit nuts to, the sound of having fun and letting go. People were too busy losing it to ask for a bloody track ID and that’s a collective mindset I miss.  I dislike the way it can get so serious, endlessly discussed online and djs’ sets picked apart. Boring. A night of music can be solid, and serious, but I don’t think it has to stay on the straight and narrow, or lose its sense of humour. That didn’t happen at raves – DJs went for it and people went nuts and had the time of their lives! And that’s what they remembered after, not which record was on which label or what came after what. So if there’s a mood – it’s that.

What’s up next for you DJ / production-wise? 
Obviously it’s summer, so that means Freerotation. This is the fifth year I’ve played and it goes without saying what a highlight that is. We recently did a party in Berlin with a bunch of FR residents and so many people came down it felt like a little Freerotation – so it shows that it is the vibe that’s special there and what an amazing job Steevio and Suzybee do every year, and how good the residents and crowd are.

I’m playing out somewhere most weekends, but i’m really looking forward to Day Moves coming up at the end of July and hopefully a couple more if the weather holds. That’s the daytime version of the party me and Jade Seatle run. Last year was mental – we put it on a little city farm overlooking the Olympic stadium – it’s really green and it’s right next to the River Lea. You can’t enter by the road so last year we texted people a meeting point, gave them signs to follow along the river, then had them walk across a narrow boat to get in. For the next one, we shipped them in by speedboat. It’s a proper day out, nice people, food, music from our mates. Night Moves is currently on hold til we find a new venue that is right for us – we won’t just do it anywhere for the sake of it – so until that happens there isn’t much to add, but it’ll be back and we have a few tweeks to make to keep it fresh and relevant. You need to keep your ear to the ground though as we’re trying to be even more off-the-radar than before.

And then at the end of the summer Night Moves/Day Moves is hosting Field Moves – a tent at Field Maneuvers festival just outside Oxford. This is the second year of the festival – me and Jade played last year and really wanted to get involved because it was new and really well organised by some lovely people – they liked the idea of us hosting a tent so we’ve just asked loads of DJs we know, from around the UK, and shoved them in a tent from Friday evening til Sunday night, non-stop. It’ll only be small, but it will be good, if it doesn’t break us! There’s other stuff on at the festival as well that’s a bit more mixed.

And I do have some music coming out – I know I always say it – with my mate Dom as Invisible Menders. We had a few pressing problems with our first release but hopefully it’ll be out soon once that’s fixed. We also have a track or two going out with other people, and another EP but no idea when they’ll see the light of day. But… I can say it’s definitely not one sound. So you will probably like some stuff and hate other stuff. And I think that’s good.