Stream DJ JNETT's Guest Dose Mix : All Songs Considered "It went from my mother saying 'turn it down' to my kids saying 'turn it down,'" says Janette Pitruzzello, a 47-year-old mother of two who doubles as one of Melbourne's top DJs.

Guest Dose: DJ JNETT

Stream A Mix By Melbourne's Premiere House DJ

Guest Dose: DJ JNETT

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Melbourne, Australia, producer DJ Jnett served up a Guest Dose dance mix for us. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Courtesy of the artist

Melbourne, Australia, producer DJ Jnett served up a Guest Dose dance mix for us.

Courtesy of the artist

Welcome to Guest Dose. Every month, NPR Music's Recommended Dose crew invites a knowledgeable and experienced DJ/selector to share with us their personal perspectives on electronic and beat-driven music, and make a mix from some new tracks they are digging.

It is not hard to tell that Janette Pitruzzello is house music for life. The giveaway is right there in one of the anecdotes the producer/DJ, who as JNETT (sometimes J'Nett) has been one of Melbourne, Australia's club cornerstones for nearly two decades, inserts into the conversation within minutes of us getting on Skype. Pitruzzello has an infectious laugh, gloriously full-spirited asides, and a hi-BPM story-telling style that would seem slightly manic if it wasn't also gregarious and good-natured. Like the music she DJs — and finally crafted herself on Wildlife, her debut EP on Maurice Fulton's BubbleTease Communications — her mannerism is one of somebody 100 percent comfortable in their own skin. This makes Janette's reflections — fittingly, on her unorthodox narrative as a 47-year-old mother of two, making dance music — instantly poignant.

"You go through these little crossroads in your life," she says when I ask how she came to house music as a full-time occupation. In the early 2000s, "already towards my mid-30s," having received a bachelor's degree in photography and developing a career in the field (while also DJing regularly), she took on a multi-week photo-assisting job in America; conveniently, the gig coincided with the Winter Music Conference, a long-running dance-music gathering in Miami, and would also take her to Chicago, the birthplace of house music. During the trip, she says, "I tried my hand doing both at the same time. So in Miami, I found myself sneaking out at night to play records after a 16-hour day assisting. Then once we got to Chicago, I went out late to see DJ Heather [a leading female house DJ]; and suddenly, I was standing in some tiny club saying to myself, 'Who am I kidding? I don't ever not want to do this.'" She bursts out laughing, and it is undoubtedly an exclamation point.

Janette says she started clubbing in Melbourne's disco and funk clubs at 15, but that she attributes the love for music and rhythm to witnessing an unlikely appearance by a Caribbean steel band in the streets of Foster, Country Victoria, her tiny south-coast hometown, at the age of 8. ("I remember thinking, 'My God, this is like the greatest thing I've ever heard'.") She already loved loud soundsystem music and dub reggae when she discovered the house sound of Paul "Trouble" Anderson while living in London in the early '90s; and was fully bitten by the DJing bug upon her return to Australia. Working at Melbourne's iconic Central Station record store gave her access to the world's best dance records, while she perfected her skills in private ("total bedroom DJing, way too self-conscious, way too shy"). When friends asked that she take a gig as a last-minute fill-in at Melbourne's The Lounge, she fought through the nerves. "The booth was in the middle of the dance-floor, so all the sound was coming in, booming. It was so great, and there was no turning back after that." The next morning JNETT was a Lounge resident — and, soon, with her "Purveyors" club night, one of the city's most respected house DJs, as well as a mainstay on Australian radio (first Kiss FM, now PBS Radio Melbourne). This is how Maurice Fulton found her.

"Maurice lived in Melbourne many years ago — and I always held him as one of my mentors," begins Pitruzzello, when I ask how, she came to collaborate with one of dance music's most respected and beautiful eccentrics. "Whenever he would come back to play here, he'd call me and two other people. The last time he came, he saw that I'm still doing it, so he said, 'OK, after all these years, I want to see you expand, it's time.' Maurice encouraged me. I was petrified that it was never going to be good enough. Now, I realize it was not about that, but about finally having some input and support. It had been my deepest wish for decades — not just to put some stuff out there, but feel confident enough in it. And it's not like [in Australia] there were people who were doing it. It's different."

The four-song EP that came out of their sessions, Wildlife, is one of the year's best examples of the diversity that die-hards recognize as house music, fueled by dueling bass lines, natural percussion, dubbed-out drum-machines and even symphonic strings: "What I like musically is so broad, it seemed unfair to do just one thing," she says.

And as Australia's dance and electronic-music boom continues, Janette sees how a seasoned perspective and unprejudiced version of house fits into the broader picture, and into her own life. "I was always the youngest," she says, "and now I am one of those people who have been around for ages. It went from my mother saying 'turn it down' to my kids saying 'turn it down.'"

The tracks DJ JNETT chose for her Guest Dose mix equally spanned the generations.

Guest Dose: DJ Jnett

  • 1. Trinidadian Deep, "Beyond Us"

    Trinidadian Deep, "Beyond Us"

    "Definitely my favorite producer at the moment consistently makes tracks I just love. I went to see Ron Trent play two years ago in New York, and while we're just dancing away, it's great, and this guy is standing there, jovial dude, and Ron plays this track, and I was going, "what is this song what is this song?," The guy turns around and tells me. Later, after looking through pictures, I realized oh my god that was him, that real nice dude was Trinidadian Deep. The music he puts out is beautiful, deep and luscious and lovely."

    "Beyond Us" is available now on Neroli.

  • 2. Scott Grooves, "The Sauce"

    Scott Grooves

    "My God, that EP, I bought three copies. I love the music Scott makes, "The Journey" is one of my all-time favorite house records. This is his latest release that he put out on Bandcamp. This tune has that real dub element, and when those keys come in, it's just so beautiful."

    "The Sauce" is available now on Natural MIDI.

  • 3. DJ Jnett, "Reflection (Maurice Fulton Remix)"

    DJ Jnett, "Reflection (Maurice Fulton Remix)"

    "Maurice turned the track into what I probably would have liked for it to sound like from the start, know what I mean? He just has that ability to create dimensions within music. The first time I tested it was at this rooftop party in Perth, and when the drums come in — it was so good. Then the organ comes in...it all worked, and I thought, 'My God, this is so cool, this is so exciting.'"

    "Reflection" is available now on BubbleTease Communications.

  • 4. Munk, "Hot Medusa (Kai Alce Remix)"

    Munk, "Hot Medusa"

    "I really do like the stuff Kai is making. This is just a pretty, beautiful, musical record. Usually when I start crescendo'ing in, I keep going up up up [in the music I play]. Here I thought that I would do something more melodic. So I frantically searched for that record. I knew it was in the stack somewhere."

    "Hot Medusa" is available now on Local Talk.

  • 5. The Dangerfeel Newbies, "What Am I Here For? (NDATL DISTINCTIVE Vocal Remix)"

    The Dangerfeel Newbies, "What Am I Here For? (NDATL DISTINCTIVE Vocal Remix)"

    "Another Kai remix. Since my EP dropped, Juno [Records, London-based dance-music retailer] has asked me to do a chart of records I am playing, so I went through a lot of new releases and found it there. It's got that strong subtle vocal."

    "What Am I Here For?" is available now on Defected.

  • 6. Mark E, "Basement Trax 1"

    Mark E, "Basement Trax 1"

    "My 10-year-old son heard this and was like, 'Mom, this is so full-on.' I said, 'I know, isn't it great?'

    Do your kids help you pick records for your sets?

    "No, but they certainly listen and I listen if they comment, because their comments are so honest. Within the house music that I play, they seem to understand that it's not about each individual track but about how it all fits together. With this Mark E record, my son was like, 'This is really monotonous and full-on, when it keeps going.' I said, 'You have to put into context, it's got to be heard on a big system, and you will get it then.' And he was like, 'OK mom...'"

    "Basement Trax 1" is available now on Futureboogie.

  • 7. Detroit Swindle, "In Reverse"

    Detroit Swindle, "In Reverse" hide caption

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    "It's got a great beginning that keeps going and then it sort of begins to crescendo. This next festival I am going to play at, I was going to open with this track, because it starts and then just goes bang! The funny thing about the mix, is, I couldn't do it in my studio, because I don't have CDJs, so I went to the radio station to do it; and it was kind of early dinner time, so I am trying to mix without invading radio DJs' space too much, because it was 6-7p, and here I am rinsing out four on the floor. The context was very funny."

    "In Reverse" is available now on Heist Recordings.

  • 8. Big Strick, "Twisted Faith"

    Big Strick, "Twisted Faith"

    "Detroit is huge in Melbourne. Actually, I'm quite good friends with [Detroit producer] Alton Miller, and while musically we aren't [similar], I am always asking him about artists. Strick is one of the young Detroit guys. It wasn't a conscious decision to make sure that I got Detroit artists on the mix. It's purely because of the sound of their records."

    "Twisted Faith" is available now on 7 Days Entertainment.