Toro Y Moi: Causers of This (Carpark) 

I hate electronic music that's devoid of any humanity; the best electronica reframes human experience in a compelling way. Think Tricky's derelict spacecraft love ballads on 1995's Maxinquaye.

Causers of This, the debut of Toro Y Moi, follows in this tradition of essential music that's as mechanized as it is carnal. Not goth like Tricky's debut, Causers channels both urban playgrounds and alien moons.

The speaker on "Minors" signals youthful impatience, singing, "Oh, not even a year / has gone by already," over a swell of organs. Elsewhere is space funk ("Imprint After"), '80s DeBarge-style R&B ("Causers of This") and staccato tantric prayer ("Freak Love"). "You Hid" hits the predominant tone: no bottom, reverbed vocals, a spare but grounding kick drum and spectral synths.

On "Talamak," the best track, the speaker laments, "Never mind, I've lost you," before relinquishing ownership of his desire: "It's my body's plan."

Let's remember that, like Tricky, there's a man at the center of all this. Toro Y Moi is the stage name for Chazwick Bundick, a name so giddy in its own Roald Dahl-esque absurdity it might have detracted from the focused aesthetic of Causers of This. Instead, Toro Y Moi has a loose, European flair that befits the album's breezy sex appeal.

More by Sean Bottai


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