Pjenné plays 20 Questions

The Melbourne DJ takes on our rapid fire quiz.
Henry Johnstone
Pjenné plays 20 Questions

From the moment we heard Pjenné’s outstanding Virtual Utopia 3 and Odysee 026 [with Millú] mixes, we we’re instant fans. Stunning representations of euphoric ‘90s electronica and slo-mo house blended with contemporary productions harking back to that classic sound, both sets display the skills of an artist adept at their craft.

Though in actual fact, Pjenné (real name Penny O’Brien) was making a name for herself well before the release of those mixes. A familiar face and fixture in the Melbourne dance community, when helming the dance floor, her energetic sets range from dub, electro and leftfield to breaks and house. Away from the dancefloor, Pjenné’s ‘Passing Notes’ show on Melbourne’s PBSfm Radio sees her further exploring the diverse realms of electronic music.

Ahead of her extended headline set at 77’s Boogie Dance Café, we shot twenty rapid fire questions over to Penny to catch a small glimpse of her cultural milieu. As we discover, she’s a lover of cats, UK sitcom Peep Show and exclamation points! We’re down with that.

1. Favourite film of the last 6 months?

I’m not much of film person and can hardly name any films that came out in the past 6 months but I can categorically say that ‘Don’t Look Up’ was one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen!

2. The TV series you can’t stop watching?

Peep Show - I’d do anything to watch this for the first time again!

3. The last book you read?

‘Colourless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage’ by Murakami. I’m also about to tuck into a friend’s book ‘Sunbathing’ by Isobel Beech which is exciting.

4. Best album of 2022 so far?

I’m very biased but I have to say Acopia - Chances (recently released on Companion) closely followed by Hydroplane’s self-titled album - also cheating as it’s a reissue from a 1997 album by the wonderful Efficient Space!

I’ve also been completely blown away by Roza Terenzi & D Tiffany’s - Edge of Innocence (such incredible production value showcased within the breadth of styles across the release) and really loved cypha - Cymatics for something a little darker.

5. The track I first CD/vinyl/cassette you remember buying?

Ricky Martin - The Cup of Life single on CD….Obviously I was destined for great things musically…

6. The track you haven’t been able to stop listening to lately?

Lotus Wash - Magnetic Moment (Vision of 1994 Remix) which was introduced to me by an Eora based guest of Passing Notes (shouts to amuwa) as well as Sounds from the Ground - Move On (Waveform Records, 2004).

7. The Beatles or Elvis?

Neither but The Beatles if I have to choose!

8. Cats or dogs? Why?

I love both, but I have to say cats. They are so intriguing, intelligent and self-reliant and just god damn beautiful.

9. Favourite house track of the '90s?

This is a torturous question  which would take way too long to answer truthfully! The first thing that came to mind was Tom Churchill - Ascendent (1996) which is a great track but I couldn’t say it’s my favorite

10. The last DJ you danced to? Where?

Chaz at and the rest of the line up at Techworld!

11. The song you wish you’d written?

Another really tough one as I think about this all the time with so many songs! Anything by The Starseeds but also maybe something with infinitely more royalties involved like ‘Despacito’... One could probably retire after that…

12. The last time you had an uncontrollable laughing fit?

A daily occurrence!

13. A track that never fails to win over the dance floor?

Christian Coiffure - Scaling

Moonchild - VOAT

…and for the true bangers…

Groove Armada - Superstylin

Craig David ft Artful Dodger - Rewind

14. The thing that annoys you the most about the music industry?

Two things immediately come to mind!

1. The need or perceived need to have a social media presence to stay ‘relevant’ and continue to get booked!

2.Being on the receiving end of misogynistic attitudes and behaviours by patrons and/or venue staff - wildly off putting stuff that are unfortunately still such common occurrences.

15. Most inspiring person in the world right now?

Milly Davison

16. Your favourite non-music podcast?

‘Where Should We Begin’ by Esther Perel. As well as the many news, current affairs and politics podcasts I listen to  everyday!

17. The best thing about being a DJ is?

When the crowd is undeniably locked in and on the journey with you. Also traveling, meeting lots of people and being motivated to explore and dig for music and being able to share that with fellow music lovers. I also absolutely love exploring artists’ stories through interviews and being able to share those with the music community.

18. When on the road you can’t do without…?


19. What is your guilty pleasure fast food?

Probably what I like to call ‘naughty pizza’ or shit pizza. There’s something undeniably comforting about suburban pizza (don’t worry I love good pizza too).

20. What can dancers expect from your set at 77?

This will definitely depend on what  the crowd is vibing on the night, but I’m so excited to be given an extended set and to be able to have the time and space to explore a few different directions. You can definitely expect my usual favorite  territories including progressive house, tech house and trance. And maybe a little cross over b2b with The Don, Ben Fester!

Listen to Pjenné on SoundCloud

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