TORO Y MOI
Chillwave, the musical style known for extreme danceability despite its relaxingly background feel, has found one of its champions in Toro Y Moi. Chazwick Bundick goes by the multi-lingual moniker, chosen randomly at age 15, blending the Spanish and French words as easily as he blends styles in his music. His third album, “Anything in Return,” recorded and mixed at San Francisco’s own Different Fur Studios and released January 22, combines sampled synth loops with mellow, multi-tracked vocals. Some of the songs flow smoothly, while others take a while to get into the groove. “Anything in Return” is one of those start-to-finish albums that takes on a liquid feel once it gets going, on and off the dance floor.
Toro Y Moi’s style is relaxing, reassuring listeners that everything will be OK. His sound almost ubiquitous, equally comfortable soothing passengers of a glass elevator in a fancy hotel and providing life to a crowded, sweaty dance floor with pumping subwoofers.
Occasionally, with an old school R&B feel and plenty of verbed-out clave, the repetitive ear candy melts into a soft pillow, propping up the occasional lyric and electronic keyboard sounds. Even elements of hip-hop find their way into the less subdued tracks. But more than everything, “Anything in Return” should be recognized for what it’s not. Despite all this electronica and overarching “cool” sound, Toro Y Moi manages to stay far, far away from those instantly recognizable and transparent dubstep trends. Though some say music surfers have moved on from riding the chillwave, Toro Y Moi is still hanging ten, toes on the nose. NICOLAS GRIZZLE
The Afrobeat is strong with this one. Ahmed Gallab moved from Sudan at age five to escape political turmoil. He fell in love with music in Ohio, of all places, and began making his own under the moniker Sinkane. The funkiest of the ‘70s meets today with keyboard and guitar licks giving a modern touch. Sometimes there’s a sense of mystery, almost a sense of sensible danger, like a rickety wooden roller coaster that’s perfectly safe, but feels like an adventure. NICOLAS GRIZZLE
Atlanta’s Phil Jones utilizes mellow, ‘80s, drum machines and plate reverb on his debut LP “Velvet Changes,” released this February 5th. With a massive sound that’s as understated as it is retro, Dog Bite previously released a 7” split with Toro Y Moi. It’s a good compliment to the fellow chill waver, if not a bit dirtier with less of an upbeat feel. This isn’t background music, it’s not elevator music, it’s introspective rainy day music at it’s best. NICOLAS GRIZZLE
It’s less about drums, as the name may imply, as it is about piano-led indie rock for DRMS. (But make no mistake, the drum kit plays a larger role in this band than some of its contemporaries). Start with rich piano, add in a dash of smooth jazz, two drops of harmony to compliment the female lead vocals, enough blips and bleeps to fill and let it chill. It’s a delicious recipe sure to sooth the stress of a long day. Finished that one already? Have another, you deserve it. NICOLAS GRIZZLE