Jane Fitz Introduces her Residency at The Pickle Factory
Jane Fitz has long been a DJ close to our hearts at The Pickle Factory. Her and Jade Seatle's Night Moves is one our very favourite London parties; we always eagerly anticipate her set at Freerotation; and every time she's played at Pickle - be it a packed Friday night, a steamy Sunday afternoon or the wee hours of Saturday morning - she has never failed to impress. Ahead of her first residency date at The Pickle Factory on Friday, we spoke with Jane to find out more about what she has planned for her four parties with us this year.
What do you have in store for your first party at Pickle?
Something for the senses. Interesting music, enveloping sound, engaging live acts and DJs, stimulating visuals and magical lighting. And I hope a beautiful crowd of curious dancers and listeners. For the first one, there will be a live gong and sound immersion from Simone Salvatici, who is a multi-instrumentalist with passion. The brilliant, bonkers and very inspiring Aboutface is performing a high concept live synth piece that includes special field recordings, elements of a Japanese tea ceremony, some live violin from Taro, and some very special stones. Aboutface blew me away at Freerotation last year and i can't wait to hear what he's doing.
Around that I'll be DJing, setting up the night around the live acts by playing ambient textures. After the sets I'll be going off in all directions until, I hope, everyone goes from swaying to full and free gyrations. There will also be a special light installation from Potential Difference, who will be doing something different for each show. My partner-in-crime Viola is doing a visual installation to give people something to think about while they dance. And we've got the very safe hands of George from Sova Audio on the knobs to make sure it's all sounding sweet and sensual.
Can you tell us about the overall concept behind your residency at Pickle this year?
To be honest, it's totally self-indulgent but, I hope, in an altruistic way. I feel a sense of responsibility to the faith and freedom The Pickle Factory have given me, so I've put a lot of thought into the structure and feel to make it more than just me turning up and playing records or with a guest. I do that every week, somewhere, so why not use this connection for something different and a bit off the beaten path. I also play different kinds of sets (usually themed depending on where i am) so i wanted to incorporate a bit of everything - but that's over four parties, not just one. The idea was to make every show a collaboration too - and to work with the same production team for lights, sound, visuals and venue each time so we can change our story together. It's a presentation of the things I believe in, and I hope that translates into a special vibe on the dancefloor. I hope people can come early for the live sets and slower music and help it explode… without the dancers I have no idea what to play! Whatever happens - it's a space to experiment and explore and be yourself, whether you're an artist, crew member or dancer… I might sound like a bit of a hippy, but we're in this together, that's the only way it will work.
To be honest, it's totally self-indulgent but, I hope, in an altruistic way. I feel a sense of responsibility to the faith and freedom The Pickle Factory have given me, so I've put a lot of thought into the structure and feel to make it more than just me turning up and playing records or with a guest.
How have you gone about assembling your guests for each event?
I want to introduce artists that maybe you've never not come across before, or DJs or live acts doing things they don't normally do, or interesting back to backs to challenge myself. I know everyone personally and i just wanted people to hear artists or DJs that at some point have blown me away. I hope they blow everyone else away too. I'm very enthusiastic about the line ups - and there's no compromise at all - they are pure quality and imaginative and in a way a bit playful too. If they go along with my hair brain ideas, they have to be.
Why are club residencies important?
They are so important because a club should have a personality - it's not just a space, it should be a temporary reality, but somewhere you feel at home. No one wants to be stranded at sea without a captain - and that's what a club resident should do, set the tone, make sure everyone is alright and steer the night in the right direction. It's a relationship based on trust between DJ and venue and staff and crowd. And it's one that builds up over time - that's why the best ones become legendary - once the trust is there, the freedom grows and that's the time and space where the magic happens.
What have been your favourite residencies over the past two decades?
Good question. Mainly because, in London at least, residences are few and far between these days. My favourite residency of recent years was the World Unknown partnership of Andy Blake and Joe Hart. Those guys lived and breathed that night and made it the unique family knees up it became. Absolutely deadly DJs too, you never knew what they might play and that was the whole point. Gilles Peterson and James Lavelle at That's How It Is at Bar Rumba on a Monday night was pretty life-affirming for me growing up. Also Deano in the lounge at The End for Subterrain, possibly the most inspiring DJ playing house i've heard in the past 20 years - and that whole party, in a club, was just ridiculous. Dj Hype at Tru Playaz at The End was a massive favourite too. All the residents at Freerotation constantly spin me out - they're the most ego-free inspiring crew and i've learnt a lot just from being in that environment. And I owe a huge debt to Kenny Hawkes and Harri at Fridays R Firin when Plastic People was on Oxford Street and the decks were on washing machines. Easily my favourite house club ever. Week in, week out carnage.
No one wants to be stranded at sea without a captain - and that's what a club resident should do, set the tone, make sure everyone is alright and steer the night in the right direction. It's a relationship based on trust between DJ and venue and staff and crowd.
You’re giving away 50 cassettes on the night of your first ever tape from 1999. Tell us about your old cassette mix collection, and why you’ve decided to create some for Friday
I have a LOT of mix tapes and I was completely obsessed about making them since I was just doing compilations for school mates aged 11! I always put a lot of effort in to tapes - making covers, doing lists, or just making DJ mixes later on. I miss standing there doing a 90min tape live with no edits and i wanted to bring that spirit back to the Pickle. So the first tape we're doing is actually a copy of the first tape I ever made, when i moved back to London from Hong Kong and bought my first set of decks. It's from September 1999, recorded in my parents house, taking me back to my 20s, desperately wondering if i'd ever play further than my bedroom.
Jane Fitz plays The Pickle Factory this Friday with aboutface Live feat. Taro, Gongs by Simone Salvatici