Jayda G's DJ-Kicks Mix Is Eclectic, Invigorating and Well-Deserved

BY Matt BauerPublished May 17, 2021

When Jayda G dropped her Both of Us / Are U Down EP last summer, the Grand Forks, BC-bred DJ and producer's paean to vintage Chicago and early house was the call to the dance floor that a glum world needed — even if we couldn't dance together. Almost a year and a historic Grammy nomination later, the artist born Jayda Guy remains a beam of soulful energy, a spirit that resonates throughout her invigorating and well-deserved mix for the 78th instalment of the revered DJ-Kicks series.

Music sites like Napster were Guy's portal into music and music history, and her mix is an expansively curated set that clocks in at just over 70 minutes. Light of the World's "London Town" kicks off the set with a brisk slice of early 1980s Brit-funk and a shout out to Guy's adopted hometown, its chant of "New York, Chicago, LA, Munich, and Japan" foreshadowing of some of the global grooves in store for later on. 

Rare cuts are favoured early in the mix with Aged in Harmony's sumptuous 1978 single "You're A Melody," Universal Togetherness Band's "More Than Enough," Don Blackman's "Just Can't Stay Away" and Atmosfear's "Invasion," each tastefully segued together along with the muscular nouveau-Afrobeat of London up-and-comers KOKOROKO's "Uman," while the sensual funk of Royale's "I Want Your Body" furthers the syncopated momentum, standing as fine examples of Guy's keen musical knowledge, as well.

Gerry Read's "90's Prostitution Racket," which flips Wish and Fonda Rae's "Touch Me (All Night Long)," seamlessly flows into the throbbing deep house of Naomi Daniel's "Stars (Dos Cult Mix)" as the set takes a nocturnal and hypnotic turn toward the dance floor with lush original cuts like LNS' "Bitumen" and friend Jennifer Loveless' "In 10,000 Places," a joyous high point. 

Of course, this is a DJ-Kicks set and that means an exclusive new track — and "All I Need" doesn't disappoint. Channeling the infectious optimism of classic disco and house with a slight chill of melancholy, "All I Need" is a splendid addition to Guy's already impressive oeuvre.

The mix closes out with the glorious gospel house re-assurance of 250 Lbs. of Blue's "Rejoice" and FIT Siegel's transcendent "Tonite," before cooling down with DJ Koze's "Homesick" and the breezy blue-eyed soul of Benny Sings' "Summerlude," an inspired breather after a dance floor high. We still can't dance together, but Jayda G's DJ-Kicks is the perfect elixir for pandemic lethargy.

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