Toro y Moi – Freaking Out (EP) Toro y Moi – Freaking Out (EP)

Toro y Moi - Freaking Out (EP)

Someone asked me what dubstep was last week and I didn’t know how to answer that question without soapboxing or saying something offensive to people with disabilities; so I put on my best music critic hat and said something exactly like how your uncool mom might have described the internet ten years ago. I’ve thought about that moment and wish I could go back and say what I really thought; but “carpe diem” right? Not, “carpe diem, in like, a week, when you’ve given it some thought, and feel more comfortable”.

So now, here I am, listening to the Toro y Moi EP Freaking Out and as I try to pretend to know what “chillwave” is all about, I can just imagine that same person asking me outside my apartment, in the rare San Francisco sun, ‘what is chillwave’? Only this time, I can say that it is exactly what it sounds like and not care to go any deeper or “sounds like bland and blank”.

Toro y Moi figured something out. He, Chaz Bundick, took a genre or sub-genre or style that was kinda cool, but kinda also nothing, and found a way to make us care about it and differentiate his style from the electronic-indie equivalent of those Ocean Sounds compact disc sets they sell on late night infomercials. That style, of course, is that thing we’re calling chillwave. And with the success of a few other bands; chillwave, an orgy of synthesizers and shoegaze whatever, seems to have an undeniable presence. Sometimes that orgy is a little drugged out, sometimes that orgy is “so over orgies” and sometimes, as with most orgies, I’m guessing, it’s just straight up weird. But ill confess, I’m no expert here – orgies or otherwise. I certainly don’t know the genealogy of where everything came from, who begat whom or whatever music nerdeology one might be able to bestow, but I knew exactly what “chillwave” meant upon its introduction to my ears and brain, even though it’s a completely made up thing; and I know a “chillwave” artist when I hear it. And holy shit, Toro y Moi sticks out from all those other cats. Freaking Out is good pop music.

Freaking Out is layer upon layer of half beats and quarter beats, wavey, underwater synth magic and catchy vocals that are simple in nature and skill; but there is something else here that I’m finding undeniable – Freaking Out is funky as hell. This shit bops and snaps and has rhythm and pop-appeal for days. So sure Freaking Out could keep a too-cool-for-school, art gallery crowd feeling pleasantly positive and upbeat, but there’s another level of funk and pop that may not get the credit it deserves on this five-song EP.

1. All Alone
2. Freaking Out
3. Sweet
4. Saturday Love
5. I Can Get Love

Toro y Moi - Freaking Out (EP), reviewed by Delicious on 2011-10-04T10:31:50-07:00 rating 4.1 out of 5

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