If you’re looking for the dependable feel-good, you go to Honey Dijon. Club promoters in her hometown of Chicago knew that, and now so do clubbers and festival goers around the world. Beyoncé knew it when enlisting her to produce on RENAISSANCE. Honey Dijon has become an icon within the club world by presiding over dancefloors that celebrate pleasure, inclusion and reverence for classic dance sounds.
Her selections always feel like they’ve been done with love and class. That spirit carried on when she began to produce, around the turn of the millennium, years after earning a reputation as a DJ. No more is this spirit clearer than on her new record, Black Girl Magic, an opulent 15-track celebration of vocal house and club music euphoria.
She’s joined by vocalists like Eve, Sadie Walker and Pablo Vittar, among others, who gladly take up the role of the diva on a joyous collection of tracks that don’t waste a breath when it comes to exploring love on the dancefloor.
Songs like ‘Not About You’ and ‘Love Is A State Of Mind’ rely on classic house chords and familiar drum patterns, but not just anyone can infuse a house track with this kind of energy. Take the glorious flanged hi-hats on ‘Love is A State Of Mind’, which bubble under the beat as vocals pop in and out of focus. Honey Dijon takes an elegant, muscular approach to production that’s ideal for a project so centred on crafting a utopian vision of the dancefloor.
What makes the record hit is its depth. The upright bass and horn blasts on ‘Work’ with Mike Dunn could so easily come off as a fun beat element and nothing more, but Honey Dijon enlists live trumpet and piano to turn it into an alive jam that earns its extended runtime.
What the record is missing is that sense of a holistic experience, a strange decision given the flow of a sweaty club set is something she’s already mastered. Instead, the record becomes a mixed bag of high-energy offerings that listeners will dip into when they need to be lifted up. From its opening poem to the closing moments, Black Girl Magic offers that in abundance.
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