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Causers Of This [CD]

Toro Y Moi Audio CD
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
Price: £8.45 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
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Music

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Biography

The product of a move from South Carolina to Berkeley, CA and the subsequent extended separation from loved ones, Toro Y Moi’s third full-length, Anything in Return, puts Chaz Bundick right in the middle of the producer/songwriter dichotomy that his first two albums established. There’s a pervasive sense of peace with his tendency to dabble in both sides of the modern music-making ... Read more in Amazon's Toro Y Moi Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (22 Feb 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Carpark Records
  • ASIN: B002WMGF3K
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 148,457 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Blessa
2. Minors
3. Imprint After
4. Lissoms
5. Fax Shadow
6. Thanks Vision
7. Freak Love
8. Talamak
9. You Hid
10. Low Shoulder
11. Causers of This

Product Description

BBC Review

While wholly generic, to the position of near-pastiche at times, the debut long-player from Toro Y Moi – aka South Carolina’s Chaz Bundick – is nevertheless engrossing and entertaining, lifting as it does from sources as exquisite as the squelch-and-fizz beatscapes of J Dilla and the blogosphere-borne chillwave sounds of summer 2009. If the likes of Memory Tapes and Washed Out have been mainstays on your stereo since the sun slipped behind the choking cloud of continuing winter, Causers of This is a certainty to brighten your own horizons – even if those outside retain their greyness.

Unlike, say, Memory Tapes though, Bundick doesn’t burn straight for a memorable hook, the pop elements of Causers of This trickling slowly from a frame that’s shaped primarily upon forms usually spied and assimilated by artists operating in more dance-savvy circles. Come the album’s midsection, echoes abound of not only Dilla (Fax Shadow, especially) but also more recent purveyors of glitched-and-grafted forward-thinking hip hop: Flying Lotus stands proud as the primary parallel to be drawn. Lissoms, meanwhile, could be a stray cut from Hudson Mohawke’s attention-grabbing EP of 2009, Polyfolk Dance, and alongside the shadowing of stateside influences Bundick does a decent impersonation, more than once, of Scotland’s aquacrunk scene.

If all this wonkiness sounds like a headache in the making, salvation is proffered in the shape of sun-drenched excursions into dream-pop territories: though Freak Love steps to a stuttering beat, the fat swathes of atmospheric keys and underwater echoes are soothing in the extreme, and You Hid is a luscious exercise in languid liquidity. Talamak goes as far as featuring something approaching a simple, sing-along chorus; likewise the sumptuous Low Shoulder, which fuses an 80s synth-pop number onto a raft of 16-bit effects straight out of Sonic 2. The closing title-track could almost be Alphabeat, if the Danes were atomised in Willy Wonka’s Television Room only to appear on screen in a decidedly scrambled fashion. Its abrupt end does rather end the album on a bum note, though.

Much like The Ruby Suns’ Fight Softly, Causers of This is a poorly timed release in terms of coincidence with suitable external conditions. But Bundick has experience aplenty of vitamin D deficiency given the hours he must’ve spent locked away working on this, and he’s emerged sunny side up. It’s worth following his lead, at least until spring breaks through. --Mike Diver

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Giving "chillwave" a good reputation. 9 Feb 2010
By Mr. J. Milton VINE VOICE
Format:Audio CD
Chaz Bundick, aka. Toro Y Moi, will be more than accustomed to the term "chillwave". Developing from American blogs, coining alternative terms ("glo-fi" being the most heavily used of these), the main instigators, carrying the term and the scene, are Memory Tapes, Washed Out and his South Carolina companion, Toro Y Moi. And with the scene being dismissed by commentators before it can get going, Bundick has been quick to distance himself from any criticism with a surprisingly diverse debut.

Any claims that the one-man project has latched on to an alluring bandwagon can be done away with by `Causers Of This'. Not only did Toro Y Moi begin nearly ten years back in 2001 as a "side-project" to then full-time band The Heist and The Accomplice but also in the present day, this former bedroom project explores genres that perhaps had more momentum in previous years; R `n B, House, and most notably, modern-day Dance.

This is such a varying, scatterbrain of a record and whilst that plays into Bundick's hands, it's also potentially a substantial downfall. It reduces the record's accessibility: Although the likes of Talamak and You Hid flux together with perfection, there are more unwelcome, unecessary arrivals; the chop-and-change Freak Love and the up-tempo, 90's house-scene-homage Low Shoulder. Both are invigorating listens in their own right, but each take something away from the flow of the album.

The core pace and the various rhythms floating amongst a hazy, ambient fuzz recite the party-scene of Justice's debut, an album where the tempo is rarely notched downwards, the intensity becoming close to unbearable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Un - Easy Listening 17 Mar 2010
By The Wolf TOP 100 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Audio CD
Chazwick Bundick (what an extraordinary name!) is a hippie.
A young man old before his time, looking backwards over
his shoulder and raking over the embers of the summer of love.

'Causers Of This' is not an unpleasant experience to listen to but
after a while I found myself wishing that something with just a
little more energy might come along to challenge the mid-paced,
densely textured washes of sound and monotonous beats.

Having found his groove, however, Mr Bundick seems disinclined
to look more than an inch or two beyond its boundaries.

There are moments where things become marginally more interesting.
The push-me-pull-you rhythm and cut and paste sonic inventions of
'Lissoms' have a certain dreamy soulful charm. The disembodied
harmonies add to the slightly uneasy feeling that the sand is
shifting under our toes and it ain't us what's moving it.
(Think Ron Underwood's fine 1990 film 'Tremors'!)

Mr Bundick's music put me in mind of Ramona Gonzalez'
(aka Nite Jewel) efforts on her debut album 'Good Evening'.
They share the same penchant for un-easy listening.

Our hero's voice is not the finest instrument truth-be-told.
A flimsy, tonally insecure falsetto whose inadequacies are
judiciously hidden by multi-tracking and lots of reverb.
'You Hid' demonstrates his limitations in a fairly scary way.

Of the eleven numbers in this collection there is little
to choose between one track and another. It's completely
inoffensive stuff but I found myself wondering what might
be the best context for it to be heard in : a log cabin in
the woods at midnight (probably not!); a picnic on the
beach at Walberswick in late August (possibly!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chillwave done right 21 Jan 2012
Format:Audio CD
Each year the so-called blogosphere picks a bunch of obscure musicians, assigns a title to them and thrusts them to the spotlight, in the hope of creating a movement.

With this in mind, I wasn't particularly excited about hearing what 'chillwave' had to offer. Nevertheless, Causers of This came highly recommended by a friend, so I gave it a listen - and man am I glad I did.

Rather than sounding like I'd expected it (a choppy mess of mundane choruses and brash synths), Causers of This is a remarkably intelligent piece. Carefully crafting samples into an elaborate sonic quilt, Chazwick Bundick's lyrics and vocals really add a sense of emotional connection to the production - a rare quality in today's music. Blessa, the opening track is a fantastic example of this, with it's recession aware lyrics 'I found a job, I do it fine - Not what I want, But still I try' and nostalgia tinged outro, it sets the pace well for what is a truly fascinating album.

Causers' true strong point comes from its many layers, which make repeat listenings exciting and enjoyable - every time you play it, you'll notice something new. Bundick's production is intelligent and discerning, with standout tracks Talamak, Low Shoulder and Lissoms. It's not your conventional lo-fi, neither is it exactly like the French House that Chaz was inspired by as a teen - instead it's something else, a nuanced blend of hip-hop and indie, of electronic and acoustic.

Ultimately, being tagged as a flagship chillwave producer could be Toro y Moi's downfall - when the blogs lose interest in chillwave, so too will they lose interest in Toro y Moi, adding an artificial shelf-life to what is actually a stunning piece of work.
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