EP Walkthrough: Ninajirachi chats her debut EP, Lapland
Arriving through NLV Records, the seven-track EP solidifies the young name as one of electronic's most adventurous.
We've spoken a lot about Ninajirachi in the past, covering her early days as one of the Central Coast's most exciting electronic producers through a bunch of now-deleted tracks some three years ago now, right through to where she is now - signed to NLV Records, playing Field Day and Falls Festival, and working with acts from her label boss Nina Las Vegas right through to fellow electronic experimentalist Oh Boy. It's been a rollercoaster three years for the young-gun, filled with growth and maturity as she continues to solidify her slick, yet left-field approach to warped club music and mixing it with these bright pop mannerisms, something her long-awaited debut EP Lapland really works to showcase.
Spanning seven tracks, Lapland sees Ninajirachi build her own bubblegum club world, uniting saccharine synth melodies and sugar-coated vocals with thick bass kicks and warped sampling for forward-thinking results suited for both the sweaty dancefloors and at-home listening. The EP-opening title-track, for example, unites distorted vocals with a rushing bass line and rapid-firing sampling for a single that feels like a metropolis of intricate layering, becoming more complex as the single grows and claps, while Gardenia throws a nod at the crashing club that often occupies her set, teaming up with Oh Boy for a sweaty, whistling affair that feels like a wake-up slap in the face. On the other side of the spectrum, however, you have songs like the Naah-featuring Pathetic, which unites a bright vocal with a somewhat subdued take on Ninajirachi's twinkling sound, and Human, which almost feels like a more electronic-centric Mallrat cut.
Arriving ahead of an extensive headline tour with dates through to May, Lapland bids the beginning of Ninajirachi's exciting new era. Dive into the EP below with a track-by-track walkthrough from the rising producer herself, and grab the tour dates underneath that.
This might be my favourite song on the EP. I made the first part (before the drums start) in early 2016 and although I loved it, I couldn’t find an idea that I liked for the next section, so it just sat in my demo folder for a long time. I have a few different versions of it that are all decent. It came together after I finished Human with Freya, because the end ‘drop’ drums in Lapland were originally part of a draft ‘drop’ for Human. I noticed the two tracks were the same tempo, so I transposed one of the tracks and transplanted a bunch of sounds over and it just fell together. The vocal chops in Lapland are also from Freya’s Human top line and the spoken word is sampled from a poem written by a woman from Lapland who owns a reindeer farm. This song has inspired me to revisit many more of my older demos.
Freya Staer is one of my oldest friends and we work on lots of music together. She sent me the Human top line/chords in May 2017 and I was originally producing the track for her. Later in the year I went a little overboard experimenting with the instrumental in some free time and produced a heavier version, became attached to it, and asked her if she would mind me putting it on my EP. Freya is definitely my most frequent collaborator – she is amazing, we work really well together and there’s a lot more Nina/Freya music to come. We've been performing this track for well over a year so it's nice that people can hear it whenever they want now.
Gardenia Pt. 1
Oh Boy and I had been following each other on social media and seeing each other around where we would chat about potentially collaborating for a while before we started Gardenia.
Now he is one of my really good friends! Part 2 is actually the original track – I produced Part 1 in my Adelaide hotel room in Feb 2017 when I had time to kill and I was testing the melodic parts of the song with different beat patterns. The finished product was this intro that built over a minute or so and moved into Part 2. I loved it, but the track felt far too long, so we split it into two parts.
Gardenia Pt. 2
Oh Boy sent me two demos that he wanted to collaborate on in late 2017. I loved different elements of both and they were similar tempos, so I transposed one and merged them together into one track – that’s how the two different 'drops' came to be. We finished the track off at his home studio in March 2018 by adding the flute lead. The track was titled when I got tired of naming files ‘untitled oh boy’ and used Gardenia because my Dad has some growing outside and I can see them from my window. Oh Boy really liked it and it just stuck.
Naah sent me a message on Soundcloud around October 2017 saying she had written a song with some friends and would like to collaborate on it. I don’t usually meet collaborators in this way, but her music/voice is super nice and I loved everything about Pathetic. She is based in Stockholm, so she sent me stems with which to build the track and we emailed back and forth. When she first hit me up I was mid-HSC exams, so I was pretty slack on replies/music and I didn’t finish the song until around February, but I really love how it came together in the end and it was so cool to collaborate with someone from her part of the world. The internet is cool for that.
This song has been around for a while – Sequel and I started it in 2015 and it was on my Soundcloud for years, but it never got a proper release. It was my 2016 Triple J Unearthed High entry. I started Glass on my laptop in year ten health class and I met Ben online not long after. We were both in a music-related Facebook group and when realised that we were both producers from the Central Coast we met up and used it as the basis for a collaboration. This was my first collaboration with another artist and I learned a lot from it. The song has changed since then, but not drastically. Really cool that it now has a home on this EP.
I can’t explain it, but seven tracks felt right for this EP. Originally track 7 was Warm Fire Lightning with Satellite Mode, but it’s already out and it’s actually a flip of Satellite Mode’s song of the same name, so would've been weird. Then it was Thursday’s with Nina Las Vegas, but it found a better home on her Lucky Girl EP. Voss was a beat I made in April last year that came together in a day or two. At the time I thought it was too off brand to ever release, but a couple of months later I thought "fuck it" – I really love this song, it’s all my own work and it deserves to be heard! I think it fits perfectly and I get to close out my EP with something that people who haven’t seen me DJ might not have heard from me before. This was the last song I finished for the EP and a lot of my post-Lapland work sounds a bit like this too.
View this post on Instagram
Follow Ninajirachi: FACEBOOK