Toro Y Moi - Anything in Return - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Toro Y Moi - Anything in Return

by Hiro Master Rating:7 Release Date:2013-01-21

Chazwick Bundick, aka Toro Y Moi, is a bedroom music-maker whose output you'd be hard-pressed to second guess. Regarded as being at the forefront of 'chillwave' - a sub-genre with retro sampling and synths at its heart - he is a musical journeyman with a liberal creative process which allows him to sample without prejudice or restraint, dabbling in funk, trip-hop, and anything besides, and creating his own groove.

Signing to Carpark Records in 2010, he set his marker down with Causers of This, an accomplished debut filled with warped head-nodders of a similar ilk to J Dilla, Amon Tobin, and Bullion. The experimental follow-up, Underneath the Pines (2011), saw Bundick push the proverbial boat out even further and venture into more mellow, middle-of-the-road territory, with mixed results. Now the 26-year-old, hailing from South Carolina, returns to the fold after a two-year hiatus with Anything in Return, and it is his best yet, prevailing as an uplifting pop album with plenty of class, despite being unsatisfying in places.

The album's opener, 'Harm in Change', is somewhat conventional for Bundick, avoiding the dreamy, echoed vocals and stuttered rhythms commonplace in his earlier work in favour of a more robust, pop-friendly approach. The song clacks into life, building with a piano arrangement which sounds like a product of early-90s dance. He keeps things chipper on 'Say That', lending his soothing voice to an punchy electro-banger with delectable vocal chops, in a loose cross between Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs and Jamiroquai. The soulful 'So Many Details' also sparkles, with thudding drums and clean synth-stabs.

Anything in Return bubbles with infectious energy. Each of the 13 songs have defining moments, even if it fails to grab you by the scruff of the neck from the off. TYM has certainly come on some since starting his musical career, and he fearlessly diversifies again here, refusing to take the path well trodden. Adept behind the mixing desk, he could have drafted in some guests to provide variety behind the mic. Then again, Bundick - a baby-faced one-man band whose style screams Shoreditch chic - has always been one to go it alone and rely on his artistic integrity to see him through.

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