In the world of chillwave, you’ll be hard-pressed to find someone as consistently hard-working as Chazwick Bundick aka Toro Y Moi. Having already released two full-lengths in the past two years he has now returned once again with a brand new EP, Freaking Out. Even when compared to his chillwave contemporaries it seems like Bundick has his 80s influences closer to him. This latest EP is no exception.
While artists like Neon Indian and Memory Tapes sound like modern artists with an 80s tinge, Toro Y Moi sounds like a project straight out of the aforementioned decade. For proof, simply refer to album opener “All Alone.” The synths take center stage throughout the whole EP. The repeating samples and dancey nature of the track clearly recall the trends of the 80s. Bundick’s vocals are also a huge factor in his nostalgic sound. The smoothness mixed with his urgency creates the sound he so evidently strives for.
Next up is “Freaking Out,” which oozes with an 80s vibe. It’s this track which shows you just how much music is actually just looped samples. Very little of the music heard in “Freaking Out” is actually being played, most of it is just repeated in different patterns. This is by no means a bad thing, as it is a staple of chillwave music. Bundick’s chopped up vocals work perfectly with the 80s synthpop loop, making for one of the best songs of 2011.
Bundick’s obsession with the 80s gets even clearer in “Saturday Love.” This particular song is a cover of Alexander O’Neal and Cherrelle’s 1985 hit. Bundick stays true to the song while still adding his own touch, in particular his lively voice. The EP closes with “I Can Get Love” which is very similar to “Freaking Out” in the way that it’s crafted. This track features several looped synth lines as well as Bundick’s chopped up vocals.
If anything, this EP is a testament of how frail of a genre chillwave is. When given in small doses it’s just fine, but full-lengths can get repetitive. Seeing as Freaking Out is an EP, getting immersed in this release shouldn’t be too hard. However one has to think, if there were five more songs like this on the EP, would it be as enjoyable? That’s really up to Bundick to cope with and for us to decide. In the meantime though, this EP should keep listeners entertained for a while.