Yaeji: EP2

So what is this?

There was an early kind of widespread criticism of rap that it was just "a beat with the MC talking over it". While this was almost never fair at the time, it's a good description of some of the directions EDM has been going, and Yaeji's EP2 seems as good an example of that as any.

At 5 tracks and just short of 17 minutes, this doesn't seem at first like it's a great arsenal for the EDM DJ. But there is a hypnotic effect to the combination of droning hooks, simple bass rhythms, and Yaeji's own combination of murmuring, singing, talking, and rapping that makes it easy to get lost in even that short of a catalog -- if it were on repeat I would be hard pressed to tell you how many times it had come around.

Does it work?

It works. I'm too old and uncool for raves now, so I have no idea if it's getting any play there, but when I want an hour to disappear this holds up reliably.

There's a strikingly unaffected quality to Yaeji's vocals; they slip between Korean and English, chanting and speaking, almost with the sense that she doesn't really care what they do. I don't speak Korean (though apparently the hook in "Passionfruit" is Korean for "That's not it"), but the English is more sonic than sensible. The words don't necessarily make narrative sense but have a certain sound that fits the moment in the song. I'm not an ASMR person but I could easily imagine this being one of their triggers.

And yet there are a few lifts of the curtain: a small autotune flourish in one passage of "Passionfruit", or a surprisingly sexual line in "Raingurl" that is backed up precisely by a climax in the snare. This isn't thrown together, but she spent a lot of effort making it look like it was.


New Digs

I actually looked at my AWS bill for the past couple of months and realized I was being incredibly inefficient in how I allocated stuff. So, I moved my blogs to entirely Nikola, entirely Lightsail.