EP Review Toro Y Moi - Freaking Out

Never has the funk been so explicit and immediate in Toro Y Moi’s sound.

When Chazwick Bundick released ‘Underneath The Pine’ it showcased an artist branching out from whatever ‘chillwave’ was meant to be (it was always more of intangible, homemade, Instagram faded photo feel than a sound, wasn’t it?) into a world of lush more organic sounds than the one he had made his name with.

‘Freaking Out’ keeps the bigger sound, while returning to a style closer to ‘Causers Of This’ - but most of all it brings the funk. Never has the funk been so explicit and immediate in Toro Y Moi’s sound. This is an EP of inspired clipped dance synth beats which lovingly creates an homage to the smooth and soulful sounds of 80s funk. So much so that you feel when you press play on the record dry ice should start cascading out from your speakers.

What’s also apparent is that this is a more confident, more bombastic Bundick. The sound is layered, the beats at times almost seductively overpowering. His soft and soulful voice drift over the top of the beats and what these five tracks lack in depth and emotional resonance it makes up for in catchy, lightly funky pop gems.

The squelching synths of opener ‘All Alone’ with its smooth vocals set the 80s dancefloor tone. The title track will keep your feet tapping, its echoing sounds, insistent synth riff and rubbery bass line creating another dancefloor hit. Only with the sweet soulful stuttering funk line of ‘Sweet’ do things start to drift slightly as its ambient textures pass over you a bit too much.

‘Saturday Love’ - a cover of a 1985 Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis production for R&B singers Cherrelle and Alexander O’Neal - is a shimmering delight. Its pop sheen and sweet, irresistible vocals make even reciting the days of the week seem like a declaration of love. ‘I Can Get Love’ brings the record to a swoonsome conclusion.

‘Freaking Out’ just shows the diverse nature of what constitutes chillwave continues to be stretched. With this funk inspired EP Toro Y Moi have gone on another tangent and even if, at times, the sound gets a bit too close to Jamiroquai territory to be comfortable, this is a coherent and confident EP that suggests the next album proper could be… well, anything Bundick wants it to be.

 

Tags: Toro Y Moi, EP Reviews, Reviews

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