Filed under: Releases of the Week | Tags: album reviews, Chaz Bundick, Panda Bear, Releases of the Week, Toro Y Moi
PREVIEW: VISIT Toro Y Moi’s MySpace
WE GIVE IT: 16/20 Watts
As South Carolina’s Chaz Bundick, aka Toro y Moi, opens his sophomore effort, Causers of This, his intentions to accomplish the extraordinary are more than obvious. Listeners are instantly drawn into the hazy subconscious of the record that foreshadows the almost-literal hypnosis to come in the following tracks. Yeah, it’s that good.
Despite whatever you’d like to label him as, its tough to deny that Toro y Moi has managed to make an already impressive career look even better with Causers of This. His debut release, 2007’s seven-inch single release of “Blessa”, was met with distinguished nods from critics, who immediately began likening him to Panda Bear. Without falling victim to audio-doppelgangery, though, Toro y Moi has managed to capture the essence of dream-pop on Causers of This, without losing his dance-electronic sensibility.
The record opens with “Blessa”, which is immediately reminiscent of a hazy summer afternoon spent lazily porch-bound, which a pulsing soundscape and stuttering harmonics accompanied by Bundick’s swirling vocals. It opens the record extraordinarily well and marks one of the record’s most obvious high points.
Perhaps where Bundick’s true talent lies, though, is in his ability to incorporate dance-influenced electronic elements into the predominantly dream-pop themed album. Tracks such as “Thanks Vision” and “Talamak” retain a danceability that is oftentimes lost in the genre’s efforts, and stand as a testament to Toro y Moi’s true skill.
Building on an already solid past, Toro y Moi has managed to obliterate the concept of the sophomore slump, creating a truly beautiful soundscape in Causers of This. It’s genre-bending tendencies and dance-inspired intricacies inspire a sense of dreaming with a purpose, of relaxing with conviction. Groove-heavy, yet always intimate, Causers of This is a record that will undoubtedly be recognized as one of the year’s best, and surely a dream-pop standard.
— John Luposello