Honey Dijon: Black Girl Magic review – tight, anthemic celebration of Black queer identity

(Classic Music Company)
The house legend and Beyoncé collaborator is back with 15 celebratory hits that span styles and explode with personality

House is truly the genre that celebrates itself. What other music is so obsessed with describing the moment of its enjoyment – the bodies, dancefloors, drugs, love, communion? In the wrong hands, an “up in the club / together we are one” lyric can feel trite, but in the manicured talons of Honey Dijon, the meta-mood of house becomes monumental.

The artwork for Honey Dijon: Black Girl Magic
The artwork for Honey Dijon: Black Girl Magic Photograph: Publicity image

In the past decade the Chicago-born, New York-sculpted DJ has ascended from fashion party favourite to Ibiza resident to Lady Gaga remixer; in recent years, she’s collaborated with Comme des Garcons on a high-end fashion line and produced songs on Beyoncé’s Renaissance. Where her debut album, 2017’s The Best of Both Worlds, played it deep and groovy, its follow-up is an anthemic and vocal-heavy celebration of Black queer identity, with twice the style and oodles more personality.

Over 15 pop-length tracks, Dijon tries on just about every outfit in the wardrobe – slick disco, freaky acid trax, soulful house – but takes inspiration from her high-wattage guests more often than imposing her own vision. The lifelong DJ hasn’t yet found a signature production style, but with an encyclopaedic and deeply personal knowledge, Dijon is a trustworthy caretaker for the house lineage in its many forms. Channel Tres lends his smoky, half-rapped vox to a Latin stomp, hip-house originator Mike Dunn drops a jackin’ homage to Chicago’s famous Music Box and Brazilian drag queen Pabllo Vittar dreams of Versace inside an Italo dreamscape. The record ends just as the party’s getting loose, with Londoner Josh Caffé commanding us to “Work! Serve!” over a deranged synth – more in this late-night ballroom house vein would be welcome.


Chal Ravens

The GuardianTramp

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