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Gold Robot Records

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Yalls in the electronic project from Dan Casey, from Berkeley, CA. He makes electronic music, but he is no DJ. Rather, the three songs on this 7" sound like he sings and plays an organ over some laptop loops. Work with what you have, i suppose, and his use of the analog organ to drive the melodies of these songs is a refreshing change.

I got a digital copy of this 7" from his promo people, so i cannot comment on the actual artifact of the record. This saddens me, as the press describes it as being pressed on "bone white" vinyl. Huh. Anyway, the point is that i don't know how the three songs break down -- is there one A-side and 2 on the B-side, or vice versa?

The first track is called Settle Down and is, quite frankly, awesome. It has a chugging drum machine and a happy organ melody, just a little riff chiming away. Over this Casey layers his voice -- two layers singing lightly. The song has a great rhythm, just a happy feet-shuffling beat. As the song moves along, layers of synths keep growing behind that inexorable organ riff and chugging rhythm. Great stuff.

Up next is Real Fantasy, which i guess is the title track. It starts with a burbling beat in the background under a nice organ riff and the voice layered over it. Not crazy about the voice, which is clearer here than on the previous track. Since i can hear it better, i notice that Mr. Casey has a kind of whiney voice, which i know some people dislike. However, as the song goes along he adds echo to the voice, which is a nice effect and tones down the whininess. This is a lot more minimal than Settle Down, and moves at a slower pace.

The final track here is Gave Away & Broke. This starts with a slippery looped beat and the organ tremoloing. The voice is echoey from the get go, fortunately. As the song grows, the organ becomes more like the type used in 1970s funk -- tight notes with a good bit of reverb on them. Nice.

Those three tracks make up the 7". However, on his BandCamp page Casey has an electronic version of the 7" that adds three remixes. The first two are based on Settle Down, which is certainly his best tune.

The first is the "Monster Rally Remix". This mix takes a simple piano riff and loops it, making a childlike melody, like some little ditty a four your old sings incessantly or taps on a piano for an hour at a stretch. The voice is pushed back in the mix, echoing in the distance. This is an okay remix, but quite honestly i want to yell at the four year old to knock it off far before the song is finished.

Someone named Naytronix does the second remix, and this emphasizes the inherent funkiness in Yalls work. There are deep scattered drums thunking, and that great organ riff brought front and center in the mix. The music is a little IDMed, meaning that Naytronix clips the sounds and loops them in odd Autechre-ish ways in the middle. The percussion is a great addition to the tune. Good work.

The final track is the "Elephant & Castle Remix" of Gave Away & Broke. This version is stretched out to almost twice the length of the original, with very spacey keys and synths for a few minutes, before some funky world percussion comes in. This version sounds a lot like the ambient trance stuff i spent a lot of the mid 1990s listening to. This track would not have been out of place on an Astralwerks sampler CD circa 1998. Very cool if you like that sort of thing.

Overall, this is interesting. I like what Yalls is doing, for the most part. Maybe a little less voice would be preferable, but the music he is making is pretty neat.

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