Toro Y Moi returns to London - in support of one of the year's best albums "Underneath The Pine", and the fantastic recent "Freaking Out" EP.
TORO Y MOI
Born and raised in Columbia, South Carolina, 24-year-old Chaz Bundick (aka Toro Y Moi) has been toying with various musical projects since early adolescence. Having spent his formative years playing in punk and indie rock acts, the protean Toro Y Moi project has been his vessel for further musical exploration since 2001. In his latter years studying graphic design at the University of South Carolina, Chaz became increasingly focused on his solo work, incorporating electronics and allowing a wider range of influences - French house, Brian Wilson’s pop, 80s R&B, and Stones Throw hip-hop - to show up in his music. By the time he graduated in spring 2009, Chaz had refined his sound to something all his own, and music journals across the board touted his hazy recordings as the sound of the summer.
Chaz started off 2010, which would prove to be Toro’s flagship year, by releasing his debut, Causers of This, in February. He toured extensively in support of the album, adding two more members—a bassist and drummer—to his live show, and steadily accrued more supporters and acclaim. Summer saw the release of the Leave Everywhere 7”, and in fall he issued a 12” single under his house music moniker, Les Sins. Always a prolific creator, Chaz used the sparse downtime between tours to prepare and record his sophomore album.
Having spent the year listening to film composers like Françoise de Roubaix and Ennio Morricone, Chaz returned to his parents’ home in Columbia, the birthplace of many Toro tracks of yore, to bring his new ideas to fruition. The result of these sessions is Underneath the Pine, a deeply personal album that sees him putting down the samples and electronics and relying completely on live instrumentation, subsequently followed by the Freaking Out EP, both out now on Carpark Records.
Formerly called FILMS, until confusion with an American band of the same name forced them to change their name, the quartet met atLeedsUniversitywhile studying fine art and have spent the last two years studying and rehearsing in the basement of a small terraced house. The result is something that is quite gorgeously unique while also brilliantly, endlessly inventive.
Operating on the same offbeat tangent of eccentric British pop as the likes of Wild Beasts, Hot Chip and even Radiohead (a shared passion of theirs), the debut double A-side single, “Bloodflood/ Tessellate” – the first to be released on the record label from influential music magazine Loud And Quiet– synthesises influences ranging from hip-hop to folk to create something quite breathtaking. “Bloodflood”, for instance, starts off with spine tingling piano and ascending/ descending melodies evoking a cinematic sense of isolation and wonderment, before Joe Newman’s unusual vocals enter the picture and twist it into something else entirely. Similarly, “Tessellate” juxtaposes skittering, stumbling beats against a minimal backdrop and cryptic lyrics (“three guns, and one goes off, one’s empty, one’s not quick enough”), creating a taut atmosphere of dread and tightrope tension.
Consisting of members Edward, Alice and Matthew, their “not-quite-electronica-not-quite-guitar-music-not-quite-pop” reflects the all-embracing diversity of Sunless ’97’s influences. From ESG to Bonnie Dobson, Robert Wyatt to Suicide, Broadcast to The Bhundu Boys, their well-received mix tapes are testament to their musical appetite. Their own music sways between past and present with a modern, genre defying, progressiveness.
Having teamed up with producer extraordinaire Kwes (Warp Records) to record their debut 'Making Waves', Sunless '97 have created an EP that masterfully sails around a lush cinematic landscape of rapturous synths and galloping tribal drums; thoughtfully interwoven male/female harmonies are underpinned by thermal, effervescent grooves. Their songs are expressionistic, evoking particular moods and atmospheres. Their debut ‘Making Waves’ E.P. on limited edition 12'' vinyl and digitally, is out through AbeanoMusic on November 21st 2011.
Tickets for this show are priced at £9.50 and go on sale at 9am on Tuesday 11th October from the following links: WeGotTickets / SeeTickets / TicketWeb