Toro Y Moi So Many Details 7″
Since 2009 Chaz Bundick’s output as Toro Y Moi has bounced back and forth from the work of a “producer” and that of a “songwriter.” His debut, Causers of This, introduced him to the world as more of the former, with sampled snippets and effects populating much of the space between the record’s slow-motion dance beats. The funky psych-pop of 2011’s Underneath the Pine evinced an artist who could create similar atmospheres even without the aid of source material and drum machines. His Freaking Out EP, a handful of singles and remixes, and a retrospective box-set plot points all along the producer-songwriter spectrum, and his newest 7-inch, “So Many Details,” (from his forthcoming third album) sees him poised directly in the middle of the two. “So Many Details” is an exciting aperitif for the next Toro Y Moi full-length out January 22nd on Carpark Records.
Situated in a slightly darker setting than we’re accustomed to hearing from Bundick, “So Many Details” builds on a foundation of rolling hi-hats and deep, syncopated kick drums, letting highly variable elements pass in and out of the mix. A slightly fuzzy bass line carries much of the melody, drunken synth stabs try to keep up with the vocals, and lilting guitar adds tension as the track reaches its peak. The producer’s hand is extremely apparent here — not least in the sampled vocal punctuations that give it a hip-hop-indebted confidence — and Bundick spends much of the track adding, subtracting, and putting effects on a handful of elements. Remixing himself on the B-side and enlisting Odd Future’s Hodgy Beats, Bundick keeps the vibe and shape of the original intact. Trimming off the emotive peaks and valleys to give Hodgy’s verse more space, the remix’s languid funk sounds like West Coast hip-hop radio of yore. Sounding quite assured in what some may call this songwriter’s return to producer-hood, “So Many Details” is an exciting aperitif for the next Toro Y Moi full-length.
Chaz Bear (formerly Bundick) was a musician from birth. Growing up, it was normal to hear music across genres, from Michael Jackson to Elvis Costello to The Specials, in the Bundick household. These influences were quite unique for a biracial kid growing up in South Carolina, contributing to the complexity of Chaz’s self-understanding and expression through his own music.
Chaz began playing and recording original compositions in his preteen years, forming multiple indie bands starting in middle school and continuing until his personal project, Toro y Moi, was signed by Carpark Records in 2009. Before getting signed, he was already an incredibly prolific artist, having released over 10 Toro y Moi albums on his own (and undoubtedly retaining a vast compendium of unreleased songs). His personal work drew upon a vaster array of influences than did his full band. Early Toro work called upon Chaz’s childhood exposure to 80’s R&B, pop and electronic music, while also evolving with his discoveries of acts like My Bloody Valentine and J Dilla and his burgeoning interest in French house. Just before his graduation from the University of South Carolina, where he earned a degree in graphic design, Chaz caught the attention of music bloggers and record labels with his dreamy, bedroom recordings, eventually compiled into his first album under Carpark Records, Causers of This.
Causers was one of a few albums to kick off the trend of home-recorded, hazy albums relying heavily on samples and production, evoking the feeling of a muggy, Southern summer. While the album did well and broke ground for Chaz’s career as a musician, it resulted in the widespread assumption that Chaz was a one trick pony, able only to write music similar to that of Causers. He immediately made it clear that he is an extremely dynamic musician with the 2011 release of Underneath the Pine, an album recorded between tours that was composed entirely of live instrumentation, moving away from the sample-based aesthetic of Causers. From then on, Chaz released an album every other year (sometimes more frequently), each one a display of his adeptness with different genres. While each album was distinct and sometimes a complete departure from the previous, Chaz’s unique production techniques and melodic sensibilities tie them all together. Whether listening to the psych rock-based What For? or 2017’s R&B-influenced Boo Boo, it is always clear that it’s a Toro y Moi album.
The most recent Toro y Moi album, Outer Peace, was written and recorded in the Bay Area after Chaz’s return from a one year stint in Portland. It is somewhat of a homecoming celebration, filled with features by friends and saturated with a playfulness that had not previously been embraced in past Toro albums. Outer Peace stands in contrast to the more sparse and contemplative Boo Boo, an album recorded while in Portland in relative isolation. With Outer Peace, Chaz showcases his ability to remain on the cutting edge of music’s evolution while not taking himself too seriously. There are contemporary hip hop references mixed in with funk, Eurodance and ambient elements, all interwoven expertly and retaining that quintessential Toro y Moi aesthetic.
Only five days after releasing Outer Peace, Chaz posted a photo of a cassette titled “SOUL TRASH V1” on his Instagram with Dropbox link to what appeared to be a mixtape. Later, the post and link were taken down and for the first time, Soul Trash will receive a proper release on October 29th along with a short film by Laneya Billingsley.
1. So Many Details
2. So Many Details Remix (ft. Hodgy Beats)