Not your ordinary “new music”.
As of late, hip hop culture has continuously influenced the fashion scene, bringing it back to light and making the younger generation fall in love with it once again. This movement has generated a trend of modern music such as R&B and “city pop” sounds which lead the sounds of today. Some artists branch out into various genres of music, like Toro Y Moi who released his new album “Outer Peace” in January. Have you checked it out already? Born to an African father and an Asian mother, Chaz Bundick, aka Toro Y Moi, has been accumulating fans all over the world through his genre-free musical approach since his debut in 2010.
It is not easy to confine Toro Y Moi into one genre of music. He blends and layers everything from rock, pops, soul, funk to electro; his sound is modern yet scattered with old school foundational roots, making his tracks sound exceptional and neo-nostalgic. Even me, someone who prefers ‘60s and ‘70s sounds and not especially open to new sounds can understand that his sounds are not simply “new music”.
Sixty per cent of Toro Y Moi’s new album consists of up-tempo numbers set around at BPM 120, less melancholy than his previous “Boo Boo”. The Latin conga sounds of “Ordinary Pleasure” will steal your heart away, and the track “Freelance” will no doubt rock the dance floor with its catchy, dancy beats. Yet you will find tracks like “Miss Me” featuring ABRA co-existing with dreamy feel. He cannot be boxed in to that chillwave genre any longer. I have experience working in record shops in the past, but an artist like him was very difficult to categorize and gave me headaches. There is always a discrepancy in the understanding of what certain genres mean to each of us, which made music even more confusing, yet more interesting and fun at the same time. Apparently, this thought is exactly what Bundick had in mind while producing his new album. In his press release, he mentioned: “Culture has become completely consumer-driven today. I wanted to explore how this affects creativity. I don’t care whether you listen to this album with that in mind or you just casually listen. These songs were made for the sake of creativity.” What he creates are pieces of art brought to life through his own free thoughts and imaginations. It’s non-sense to try to lump them into a certain style or genre. His music doesn’t belong: it’s simply Toro Y Moi.
Today we are overwhelmed with information, material things, and music. Internet and social media make information flow too easy, and cultures created through these realms seem to be lacking in depth and value. The beautiful limited-edition vinyl released by Toro Y Moi expresses his quest for creativity. In a time when we are bombarded with free music downloads, vinyl record releases are on the rise. However, his record cover design shows to us that music is not something that is simply consumed; it is a work of art that reflect the artist’s aesthetics and can enrich our lives – this message was reconfirmed through his album.
Toro Y Moi
Born 1987, based in South Carolina, USA. A solo project from Chaz Bundick. For its musical diversity, fans are all over the world.