- A showstopping debut.
- The artwork for Planet J was put together by Kerrie IRL, based on a photo of Hong Kong that the Birmingham-born and based producer, Jossy Mitsu, took while on holiday. It’s a fitting image for the EP: both the picture and the music operate in the hazy space of the hyperreal, where the boundaries of the real and surreal collapse. From the moment you hit play, you're treated to a tour de force of futuristic club music, where crisp chrome drum programming meets snaking, low-slung bass. Although the Rinse FM DJ has been immersed in the world of dance music her entire adult life, from working in the cloakroom at fabric to doing A&R for Holding Hands, the sheer force and weight of this debut still feels seismic. From the slow stutter of the opener "Odyssey" to the final waft of sub-bass on "Ø," Mitsu crafts a series of meticulous contemporary club tracks where every single note and hi-hat feels precisely placed.
My favorite is "Ø." The track is named after Kode9 and Shannen SP's Corsica Studios clubnight, which pairs politically-informed art installations with Hyperdub (and affiliated) DJs breaking the boundaries of club music—think DJ Plead, Loraine James, Josey Rebelle. There's a hint of the Hyperdub aesthetic, with slinky, shifting percussion punctuated by stabs of bass.
While the polyrhythmic structure of “Ø” may be a little too amorphous for some DJs, elsewhere Mitsu gets closer to techno. "1997" is brooding with its offbeat snares and dueting synths, though the percussive shifts would still require some dexterous mixing, even as she approaches more conventional 4/4 templates. The song reminds me of Martyn’s "Vancouver"—that track marked a moment when dubstep was folding itself into techno, and on "1997" it is almost as if the inverse is happening.
That leaves the record’s centerpiece, "Turismo." The track is a blistering breakbeat destroyer, slinging breaks like throwing knives across the stereo field. Mitsu is a founding member of the 6 Figure Gang, a crew composed of herself alongside Dobby, FAUZIA, Sherelle, LCY and Yazzus. In the past year or so, some of these artists have become some of the most-talked about names in UK dance music. Planet J is about as exciting a record as I've heard all year and makes the case that Mitsu is their latest breakout star.