Toro Y Moi | Causers Of This

Carpark (2010)
By JONATHAN DONALDSON  |  February 3, 2010
3.0 3.0 Stars


Toro y Moi is the one-man project of South Carolina–based songwriter/producer Chazwick Bundick. His debut is a leap into a tactile æsthetic where surreal and sometimes unstable atmospheres lure listeners into simple, soulful songs.

Bundick's kitchen-sink approach is a standout element of Causers of This, as layers of subdued keyboards, vague vocals, sparse drum machines, and '80s soul/house-influenced bass lines put you in a sensual listening space. Ambient segues between tracks are flawless, and rhythm tracks dip into heavy dub-/trip-hop-inflected discursiveness. The make-or-break factor will be the production, with either slow tremolo or degrees of compression so heavy that they cause the music to "breathe" (i.e., swell and decay at irregular intervals).

For some, this could be unlistenable; for others, it will simply come off like the natural product of glitch, shoegaze (to which Bundick certainly owes his chord palette), lo-fi, and psych. Take it all away and the songs can sound low-rent when the sun comes up — sometimes Bundick aims for Kate Bush's "Running Up That Hill" and comes out with Pretty Poison's "Catch Me I'm Falling." But even when the foot he plants in pop is a little unsteady, the one he keeps in the club is sure.

Related: Ghost stories, Winged migration, Injustice for all, More more >
  Topics: CD Reviews , Entertainment, Entertainment, Music,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   THE UNIFIED MELODY OF SLOWDIM  |  March 20, 2013
    Slowdim drink wine with pizza. It's true. I was there.
  •   THE MARY ONETTES | HIT THE WAVES  |  March 13, 2013
    Hit the Waves is so heartfelt as a pastiche of '80s alternative music that it almost muscles its way into being brilliant.
  •   THE MODERN RETRO OF JESSE DEE  |  March 05, 2013
    On his new record On My Mind/In My Heart , the question is not if Jesse Dee can step up to the challenge of making authentic soul and R&B music in 2013, but rather how he goes about it.
  •   TAME IMPALA’S NEW SURROUND SOUND  |  March 08, 2013
    Whether it's Bradford Cox with Deerhunter, or Dan Snaith with Caribou, or Kevin Parker with Tame Impala, there must be something with this trend in sonic auteurs with cervine band names.
    "It seems like a challenge to make something that you have to pay a lot of attention to," says Josh Dibbs.

 See all articles by: JONATHAN DONALDSON