Toro y Moi, Wild Belle, Dog Bite

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Editorial Review


By Catherine P. Lewis
Friday, February 8, 2013

Chaz Bundick has had a prolific career recording as Toro y Moi, releasing three albums and a handful of EPs and singles since 2009. But his new album, “Anything in Return,” doesn’t feel at all rushed. It’s a collection of laid-back electronic grooves that sound more like a seductive whisper than a raucous dance party.

There’s a reason Toro y Moi’s blissed-out brand of electronica is the poster child for the chillwave movement: Most of “Anything in Return” conjures a relaxed atmosphere, and even songs with uptempo beats seem calm.

The glitchy vocal samples in the track “Say That” feel more funky than frantic, and the shimmering repetitions on “High Living” sound like a shoegaze version of a reggae song. Even the faster-tempo “Harm in Change” has the groove of a downtempo pop song rather than the drive of a dance club track.

Bundick’s airy croon is even more trancelike than his easygoing beats, with his vocals adding serenity to the already chill tracks. His wistful sigh on “So Many Details” creates a dreamlike haze, and his assertion of “I wanna make you want me” on “Day One” feels more sultry than aggressive. Still, there’s a lot of detail here, giving an intriguing spin to Toro y Moi’s blend of the calm and the controlled.