CAT #: BIS045
May 15, 2020
Josey Rebelle is the deserving recipient of many accolades and awards, though her accomplishments are, as with all great artists, unquantifiable. Just as her style doesn’t fit neatly into a few-word package, Josey In Space combines classic and current sensibilities with a selection of exclusive and elusive music to elevate this mix beyond the ephemeral to the eternal.
Drawing from a kaleidoscope of deeply felt and understood sounds, Josey studies and collocates history as well as directing its course. With her sets on the air and in the club, Josey urges you to listen close to the story, to feel the energetic shifts in style, sound, speed, mix; up, down, rough and smooth. Josey’s sets are motivated by the ineffable and inevitable dance, mess and sweat of life: “eclectic,” an oft-applied catchall, just scrapes the surface of this scope and vividness.
The reciprocal relationship between radio and club DJing are integral to Josey’s practice. Joining Rinse FM in 2011 with a covert 3 – 5 am Thursday slot, her now venerated weekly Sunday show delivers a universe in two hours, filled with selections from across the spectrum – house and techno, breaks, jazz, soul and analogous electronic music, to start – and carries the voices of emerging artists and their communities. Evincing a lifelong commitment to ravenous, compulsory listening, and encouraging this in others, Josey furthers a localized lineage tracing back to the golden era of London pirate radio.
Plenty of lore is out there about Josey’s journey as a club DJ with a glinting reputation the world over. Her style is broadly and essentially UK (especially from a US vantage), in content and mixing. But she doesn’t simply follow a school; her methods are always responsive to the track at hand. Josey lets “the tunes speak – or shout, or whisper – for themselves [giving] them space to breathe.” Within this framework she allows tracks with both complementary and dissonant elements to meet, run over each other, break apart, or just brush each other by.
Josey in Space reflects this finesse and versatility across twenty selections, a number of which will see their digital debut inside and outside of Josey’s mix as standalone cuts. DJ Marcelle’s outre dub clatter bookends the plot, featuring up-and-comers of club sound like rRoxymore, AFRODEUTSCHE and Molinaro alongside consistent innovators like Titonton Duvante, Nubian Mindz, Hieroglyphic Being, Uschi Classen and Robert Owens. Tenesha The Wordsmith’s afro-futurist visioning and poetic eulogy “I Dream So Loud” invokes a healing mantra at the outset, and emphasizes an imaginative resilience embedded in the unequivocally black history of dance music.
Moving knowledgeably through this unfolding history, Josey in Space celebrates US house and techno history along with UK soulful bass, breaks and beyond as in Loraine James’ “Glitch Bitch,” or the second-to-last tenderly offered “Praises” from Lex Amor. On the 12” version, four essential tracks are lifted from the mix for DJ-ready use: Fotomachine’s spectral techno transporter “BBoy”; the warm, broken-beat sashay of Shy One’s “Route II Romeos”; Access 58’s 1999 instigator “Jazz Drama”; and the uplifting jungle tune “Dance Of The Sarooes (Nookie Remix)” from Rogue Unit.
Available as a track-focused 12”, mixed CD and mixed / unmixed digital version, Josey in Space is the second outing in a new Beats in Space series celebrating dance music’s form and informality, and the selectors guiding its evolution.