When Yalls released United in 2014 it felt like the zenith of his pop journey. It existed absorbed the native beat scene of the Bay Area that was backing Kool A.D. and Main Attrakionz, while finding its own expressive middle ground between glitchy IDM and Hot Chip-esque dance pop. Two years later, Yalls is still chameleonic in his approach. This time metabolizing the cosmic Berlin synth records of Steve Roach, Emeralds, and Telomere. The result is the Shut Down EP.
Sequenced entirely on a DSI Tetra synthesizer, the Shut Down EP is Yalls in deep concentration. In an email Yalls shared that the Tetra is not new tool in his arsenal. It was used on previous records, but where those records allowed a plethora of influence on his synth manipulations, the Shut Down EP does not collect from a bank of sounds stored on a hard drive or otherwise. Yalls is limited in his scope and in that limitation he crafts arpeggiated ambient suites that unify the body of work. Still astral and infinite as the tracks feel despite the conditional approach, Yalls’ pop sensibilities still seep into the context. There is the underlying feeling that at any moment a pop song will burst forth from the ambient scape. And yet, even without that catharsis the EP remains a compelling excursion.
Yalls’ Shut Down EP is out now on Bandcamp.