Toro Y Moi album review

June 2009

June 2009
4/5

Some people scribble in journals for years, keeping them until they’re terminally dog-eared and the authors barely recognise themselves in the entries. Others keep bulging albums of old photos to jump-start memories of their past. Chazwick Bundick, however, decided to make a literal record of his past. As Toro Y Moi, the South Carolina native made his name as an early adopter of a sound tagged ‘glo-fi’ or (shudder) ‘chill-wave’, and has delivered two albums of whacked-out and woozy, lo-fi, beats-based electronic pop so introspective it suggests a personal soundtrack to locked-in syndrome.

As the title indicates, his third documents a particular point in TYM’s life, namely, when he was a college graduate dithering on the precipice of ‘real life’, experimenting with music software and samplers. Originally issued as a tour-only CD-R, June 2009 is hazy with nostalgia, but only in that it represents a Bundick who no longer exists. Recalling both the freewheeling, psychedelic hip-hop of the late J Dilla and Beck’s Stereopathetic Soulmanure LP, it also reflects the listening habits of its maker before the pop bug bit.

TYM’s fondness for Pavement, J Mascis, Beck, the Valentines and The Byrds swims up through the reverb, and although some may be fragmentary and feature much electronic tinkering, these are still very much songs. The oddest is ‘Talamak’, all whooshing synths and exaggerated dropped beats, but even here, simply surrendering lets the sun shine in.

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