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Fresh Kicks 206: Mincy

Sydney’s Mincy records a high-voltage mix of garage, techno, breaks and footwork for the Fresh Kicks series, and chats to Niamh O'Connor about her make-it-up-as-you-go-along approach to production

“I always really wanted to make something different,” says Australian DJ and producer Mincy from her home in Sydney. “I wanted to make my own sound, and I feel like I’ve kind of got to that point now.” Lockdown and an extended free trial of Ableton have helped Mincy reach such a point. Since dropping her debut tune ‘Cute Thing’ via her label Extra Spicy in 2020, Mincy has released her quirky productions on EC2A, Shall Not Fade, and Gallery Recordings, alongside several ravey gems on Extra Spicy, the latter of which has morphed into an all-encompassing imprint supporting Australia-based artists.

Having “absolutely no formal training” in music production has contributed to Mincy’s multi-coloured palette. With a make-it-up-as-you-go-along approach, the result is “a bit wacky and a bit weird”, but it works. Walking basslines, stomping drums, cheeky vocals and boisterous melodies bounce across her back catalogue, dipping into flavours of bass, breaks, jungle and grime, with a playful tint.

While Mincy’s journey in production began three years ago, her musical knowledge developed long before that. Growing up in Mortdale, Sydney, her father’s eclectic taste introduced her to Kraftwerk, Moby and The Avalanches. An avid clubber in her late teens, she moved to the city where she would “spend two hours a week sleeping, and the rest in clubs”. It was 2006, and bloghouse was the genre du jour, but dubstep had begun to inch its way over from the UK. “A friend invited me to a Rusko gig, and then at that point, the floodgates opened, essentially.”

Although a dedicated raver in her early twenties, the idea of learning to DJ herself didn’t occur to her, mostly because she felt it was “a boy’s thing” back then. Moving to London in 2015, she hung out at Mode FM, where she “fell in with the grime crowd” and connected with a crew from Sheffield, whom she would visit at the weekends. “I started to see a whole bunch of people DJing at that point, so it didn’t feel so unobtainable.”

Back in London, Mincy mixed on Mode FM’s open decks slot, which ran from midnight to 6am. Before her UK visa was up, she bought a controller and convinced her DJ housemate to show her the ropes. “I never really anticipated to do it beyond my bedroom,” she recalls. “It was more of a like, ‘Hey, I want to be that cool person at the after-party that can go play the music’. It sort of spiralled from there.”

On her return to Sydney in 2017, Chinese Laundry handed her an “unofficial residency”. There, she rinsed her UK-inspired collection of grime, bassline and garage to a receptive audience. Just as her profile and booking schedule began to take shape, the pandemic hit. But following that fateful free trial of Ableton in the thick of lockdown, Mincy taught herself how to produce. Fast forward to 2023, and she lined up a collab EP with Killjoy called ‘Alien Cuts’ and a release on EC2A’s new project ‘Untitled’.

While breaks, rave, bass, hard dance and techno have crept into her productions and sets, she’s keen to revisit her roots in grime and dubstep. “I am trying to find that blend of the new stuff that I’ve discovered through to this new era of Sydney raving, and everything that got me to this point,” she says. “So my sets can tend to be a bit of everything at the moment.” If there’s an artist who can do that with prowess, it’s Mincy.

Listen to Mincy's Fresh Kicks mix below.