Jayda G

Significant Changes

BY Tom BeedhamPublished Mar 20, 2019

Hashed out in the same years that she was rushing between gigs abroad in Europe and filing away chapters of her risk assessment thesis on the health effects various chemicals have on orcas residing off the coast of Vancouver, this debut full-length from DJ, producer and label founder Jayda G takes academic pursuits to the dance floor, spinning environmental consciousness into dance floor politics in funkified house sequences.
Named for the most used phrase in her thesis, Significant Changes is full of references to her academic undertaking. The album opens and closes with an abstract ("Unifying the Center (Abstract)") and a "Conclusion," while "Orca's Reprise" sets a field recording of orca calls to a fragile arrangement of gently plucked strings and sombre bowed instruments.
"Missy Knows What's Up" samples the voice of Raincoast Conservation Foundation biologist Misty MacDuffee speaking about a landmark Canadian court case for the protection of the whales.
At the same time, the tracklist frequently reads like a set of instructions for the dance floor, but G's offering a broader critique of ecological consciousness throughout. Alongside "Leave Room 2 Breathe," "Move to the Front (Disco Mix)" and "Stanley's Get Down (No Parking on the DF)" sermonize on living in the moment and being mindful of your surroundings, with G flexing some selector authority and calling out the idle feet in the crowd: "Hey you, I see you on your phone, lookin' at Instagram. This is the dance floor, baby. This is where you're supposed to get down."
They seem like disparate projects, but as the record plays, it becomes increasingly clear this is building towards a more holistic mindfulness, asking the same fans here for the bangers to commit to their surroundings when they step out into the real world.
Juxtaposing the escape provided by club culture's immediacy with the harsh realities confronted in the lab, Significant Changes sets a reality check to something danceable, but its success is wholly reliant on Jayda G's balanced presentation and steadfast commitment to both missions, tonal shifts like "Orca's Reprise" providing chill-out wind-downs for the party while the club anthems provide some sorely needed release.
(Ninja Tune)

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