Les Sin // Michael
by Weston Uram on November 29, 2014
Posted in: Album Review, Electronic, Funk, Music, Pop
Chaz Bundick, also known as Toro Y Moi, has put out a recent LP under the name Les Sins. Releasing three 12’ records, this is the first full length album that has been put out under the name of Les Sins. For those of you familiar with Toro Y Moi self-title work, you will find a similar album in terms of production. A layered and arguably dancy album, Bundick remains in this interesting mix of R&B beats with sparkle pop synthesis yet still feeling relaxed and chill. However, on Michael, Bundick delineates from his strolling beats that surprise you with occasional pop-in sounds and instead focuses more on a straightforward and at times aggressive beat.
The songs each have a path, and you feel hurdled along one direction where in Toro Y Moi I feel Bundick is more focused on experimenting and having you along for the ride. Maybe it’s the fact that Bundick has had more time to produce this album in comparison to Toro Y Moi work, or maybe it’s that he had a clear focus (he has said it was largely inspired by the late graphic designer Paul Rand, and only has one with a singer), but whatever it is it has paid off. It’s more refined than anything he has put out before, and the album has a consistency unlike any of his previous work. It’s a pleasure to listen to the album front to back, unlike Toro Y Moi where I find myself skipping multiple tracks because it seems too sporadic and underdeveloped.
The opening track “Talk About” is so good. On it an androgynous, monotone voice sample repeats, “talk about your newest record, and where did you get the name?” This is quite possibly the most boring and repetitive question a musician can receive, and yet Bundick turns it into one of the most hypnotic tracks off the album. It also seems important in light of the events of Ferguson that Toro Y Moi has released an album called Michael and the track samples someone talking about a shooting, but I have found no evidence that Toro Y Moi has spoken about this correlation. Some of the other highlights include track 3, “Toy”, simply for that ethereal flute sample. Track 4, “Why”, is the only one with a singer (Nate Salman), but I am so thankful to Bundick for releasing it because it might be my favorite off the album. The following track, “Bother” is also up there on my favorites and I am still gagging from the breakdown at 2:30. If “Why” isn’t my favorite, it might be track 8, “Sticky”. I can’t even speak to why it’s so good, but these convoluted synthesis make me feel like I’m tripping to a soundtrack of n64 mario kart. It’s a must-hear.
Overall, this one of my favorite albums of the year. I would highly recommend it to anyone who likes heavy and exciting beat-making music, think Daft Punk or Mr.Oizo. The songs flow together but there’s just enough difference to keep you interested and give each song a distinct memory in your mind. You definitely can’t know the whole album by just listening to one or two songs. I give this album an A-.
Michael is out now on Company. Stream the full album below on Spotify.
Weston Uram hosts Feel Your Oats Wednesdays, 1:30-2:30 AM on WRMC.