Jayda G - DJ-Kicks

  • A joyous dispatch from the breakthrough Canadian artist.
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  • Jayda Guy is an optimist: you can hear it in the music she makes and the records she plays. When she DJs her connection with the music is obvious—she dances like she's alone. Though she's rocketed out of the underground with a hectic DJ schedule—Guy has 80 gigs listed on RA for 2019—you still get the sense that the Grammy nominee Jayda G has a joyful relationship with DJing and would be doing it regardless of the crowds and accolades. Born and raised in the small town of Grand Forks, British Columbia, Guy's upbringing on the edge of a provincial park instilled a deep appreciation for biology and natural ecosystems. For her master's degree, she studied the effects of human activity on the Salish Sea killer whales. This preservationist intent bleeds into her musical career in a broad, life-affirming sense, but also quite literally—her 2019 album Significant Changes featured her own recordings of the whales and a subtle ecological message. Guy's academic interests are still a huge part of her life. At one point during the pandemic, according to a recent Mixmag interview, she considered going back to work. Judging from her raucous performance at Circus's pilot event earlier this month, she might return to marine biology for love, but certainly not out of necessity. Her DJ-Kicks underlines her talent for her current vocation. A hopeful message is a constant in the music Jayda G plays, a throughline that feels timely and necessary as many countries prepare to reopen. This vivacious feeling comes across in the first 25 minutes of the mix, which is delivered without beat-matching, David Mancuso-style. It makes me think of her story about her early days DJing when she would play for a group in a living room with pillows strewn about, intimate applause following her sets. Even stepping up for her entry into the venerable DJ-Kicks series, Jayda G sounds like she's playing for herself and her friends. Easing into things, Guy opts for slow cooking, making sure everyone's on board with the winsome groove of Light Of The World's "London Town," the striking string arrangements of Aged In Harmony and the Khruangbin-esque funk of Glass Beams. If you were walking down the street and heard these tracks coming out of a bar or a pub, you'd peek your head in for a glance at the warm, convivial vibe. Kokoro, Atmosfear, Universal Togetherness Band and Don Blackman's "Just Can't Stay Away" steer us into jazz fusion territory which leads into Gerry Read's Fonda Rae-sampling boogie-house track "90s Prostitution Racket." Guy highlights the sonic commonalities between disco and house as Black-rooted dance musics. She favors cuts with lush instrumentation, brimming with life. Later in the mix, Guy really gets going, moving rough-and-tumble through a sweaty segment of contemporary selections from Jennifer Loveless, HAAi and DJ Boring. Instead of opting for big-room style with flashy EQ drops, Guy chooses to steadily build towards elation. The feeling spills over with her original track, "All I Need," which crowns this high-energy section. It sounds like she built the mix with this cathartic release in mind, part of an overarching goal to get you to heal yourself and move. From her naturalist studies to the empowering messages of the records she plays, Jayda G's DJ-Kicks is another joyous dispatch from an artist that serves as a life-affirming beacon of positivity in a world that, above all, needs more light.
  • Tracklist
      01. Light Of The World - London Town 02. Aged In Harmony - You're A Melody 03. Glass Beams - Taurus 04. Kokoro - Uman 05. Atmosfear - Invasion 06. Universal Togetherness Band - More Than Enough 07. Evan Pyramid - I Want Your Body 08. Don Blackman - Just Can't Stay Away 09. Gerry Read - 90s Prostitution Racket 10. Naomi Daniel - Stars Dos Cult Mix 11. LNS - Bitumen 12. DJ Boring - Gardenia 13. Jennifer Loveless - In 10000 Places (Then What) 14. HAAi - Good Ol'Fashioned Rugs 15. Jayda G - All I Need 16. Fred Again.. - Diana 17. House of Jazz Hold Your Head Up (Original Mix). 18. 250 Lbs. Of Blue - Rejoice (Spen's New Vocal Mix) 19. Omar-s Presents Aaron "Fit" Siegel - Tonite (Detroit Mix) 20. DJ Koze - Homesick feat. Ada 21. Benny Sings - Summerlude