Review: Yaeji's "EP2" EP


New York based producer Yaeji entertains us with her latest release “EP2.”  This project is an exercise in contrast; with its delicate glowing tones, to it ear bud busting baselines and 808s. From its intimate canary like vocals to its money tossing mantras, Yaeji has crafted a sound that is uniquely her own.

“Feelings Changed” feel like a new age therapy session with it serene semi forced cry for help vocals, and its background wind like crescendos.  The meandering bass accents the song beautifully especially with the artists choice to layer the spoken word vocals with more dynamic singing on the second verse.  It’s minimalist and amazing at the same time. “Raingurl” begins with a traditional house beat with slicing snares. Yaeji engages in some sensual talking in English, and Korean circa 1990’s Janet Jackson before she encourages females to float that finance.  The breakdown is wonderful with its background haze like vocals, suggestive chants, and a clap that sounds like they recorded two paint cans banging together and added an effect. (In the best way) Yaeji displays some intermediate rap skills about White Russians and a distaste for family planning.

“Drink I’m sippin on” is an adventure in 808 programming and vocal sampling.  The high pitch Korean crooning juxtaposed against the thunderous 808 production is great.  It doesn’t matter that I don’t understand what she is saying (due to the fact that I don’t know Korean) the song is so well done that it’s just as compelling.  “After That” is another one with its marching 808’s, bouncing ball like synths and damp towel snapping snares.  Yaeji’s airy vocals that abruptly go from Korean to small segments of English are just pleasing to the ear. 


“Passionfruit” showcases the artist’s ability to take a certain world beating Toronto based rappers song, and turn it into an auto tuned, creative 808, cresting wave sound delight.  Yaeji utilization of the bass during the chorus against the word (Forgive me I do not know Korean) she chants is therapeutic. 

What I admire about this project is that there is no excess.  Every vocal is done well.  All the production is in its right place and engineered well.  It’s not manufactured or rushed.  It’s something seldom said about simulated sound…it feels organic.  If I had to levy any criticism at Yaeji or “EP2”, it would be that this project is like a nine-teen ninety’s bay area hip-hop legend. It’s “Too Short”.                 

Stream/Download "EP2" on iTunes