Review: Jayda G’s Significant Changes is an urgent dance floor summons

The Berlin-based Canadian producer and DJ's debut album is a record for the moment about being in the moment


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It’s kind of funny that one of the best songs on Jayda G’s new album is a dancey song about reminding people to dance. “I see you with your phone! Looking at Instagram!” she shouts over a noodly bass line and brisk beat on Stanley’s Get Down (No Parking On The DF). “This is the dance floor, baby!”

Significant Changes is a record for the moment about being in the moment. The nine-track album distills the Berlin-based, British Columbia-raised producer/DJ Jayda Guy’s affinity for big melodies, 90s house production and gospel-charged disco vocals into a personalized sound in which familiar elements of disco and house both crystallize into straight-up jams and then dissipate into blissed-out head trips.

Guy has a rep for dropping big disco hits into her sets, but this album is very pared back from the orchestral sweep the genre is known for. But whereas a lot of modern disco producers strip out the exuberant parts – the vocals, strings, horns – Guy is all about exalting the voice.

Two collaborations with Alexa Dash are typical of her direct and indirect approaches. Leave Room 2 Breathe is the poppiest track, a full-throttle house anthem about relationship dynamics that treats the “you’ve got to push, pull” line in the chorus like a dance floor instruction. The sunrise breakbeat jam Sunshine In The Valley feels more abstract – a beautiful expression of the way Guy uses high-key vocals as overlapping texture to caress and uplift the listener.

Opening with a delicate piano riff and a falsetto harmony, Move To The Front (Disco Mix) kicks into a classic shuffling beat as Guy summons all the women to the front. Even though there are references to her background in environmental management and interest in whale conservation – notably in the audio samples from a marine conservation court case on Missy Knows What’s Up – her evocations to dance, be present and claim space are the most potent and political moments.

Top track: Sunshine In The Valley (featuring Alexa Dash)

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