Listening Booth: Yaeji’s Borderless House Music

When the house producer Yaeji played an edit of “Renegade Master,” by the late English d.j. Wildchild, last Saturday night, fireworks went off over the Hudson River. They burst through steady rain in plumes of red, yellow, and gold, visible through the window just past the young d.j.’s shoulder as she bopped in the booth of Le Bain, at the top of the Standard Hotel. “Back once again for the renegade master! ‘D’ for damager! Power to the people!” the nasal sample chanted as the tinny rave claps and sirens roused the floor to life. The club was hardly full—Yaeji was playing on the wet and cold night before Mother’s Day—but the track’s frenzied pitch quickly lowered inhibitions. Wearing thin-rimmed glasses and a tight bun, Yaeji pumped her hands spritely in between knob adjustments. The fireworks continued as bodies coalesced under the speakers. A brave soul jumped into a hot tub built into the club’s floor. Three more soon followed.

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