Mistletone presents


8:00pm, Mon 4 January, 2016
Oxford Art Factory, Sydney, NSW

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Event Details

Mistletone, Fasterlouder and FBi Radio present the return of luminous indie-electronic pioneers Toro y Moi. 2015 has been a bumper year for Toro y Moi, even by Chaz Bundick's usual, wildly prolific standards.

A producer and singer-songwriter of exceptional gifts and versatility, Chaz Bundick released the killer album What For? as Toro y Moi earlier this year. Recorded at home in San Francisco's Bay Area, with Chaz's meticulous production capturing the feel of a rock band playing together in the same room, cited Big Star, Talking Heads and Todd Rundgren, as well as the psychedelic soul of Brazilian legend Tim Maia and the '70s-era jazz-funk of France's Cortex, as inspirations. It followed the clubtastic dance music outing Michael, Chaz's first full-length release as Les Sins. And then Chaz trumped them all with the surprise-released Samantha, a brilliant 20-track Toro y Moi mixtape, shared as a free download via Dropbox and featuring collaborations with Washed Out, Kool A.D., SAFE, Rome Fortune, Nosaj Thing and SHORE.

"Part of the fun in following Chaz Bundick's musical trajectory is hearing how he changes up his style from one project to the next. From Causers of This on, each Toro Y Moi release has been a subtle shakeup: 2011's stellar Underneath the Pine laser-cut the corners of chillwave down to a fine point; 2013's Anything in Return turned his songwriterly impulses into disco and pop gems; and, most recently, he channeled early experiments with garage and indie rock into this past April's What For? But each project somehow sounds distinctly like Toro Y Moi, bound by Bundick's unflagging production chops. The latest Toro Y Moi project, Samantha, is a free mixtape that piles together recordings from as far back as 2012 and as recent as last month. It serves as a neat way of tracking Bundick's progression as a musician while prominently highlighting his talent for both beat-driven and atmospheric production" - PITCHFORK

Born and raised in Columbia, South Carolina, Chaz Bundick has been actively involved in music going back to his early teenage years playing in punk and indie rock bands. Chaz unveiled his Toro Y Moi guise in 2001, in which he began incorporating electronics and channeling a wider swath of stylistic influences - from indie rock and '60s baroque pop to '80s R&B, French house and underground hip-hop - into his own solo music. By the time he graduated from the University of South Carolina in 2009 with a BA in graphic design, Bundick had refined Toro Y Moi into a truly unique, captivating project, with numerous music magazines and blogs touting his hazy recordings as the sound of summer. His Carpark-released debut album, Causers of This, would follow in early 2010 and garnered high praise in many publications including NME and Pitchfork.

Chaz Bundick has proven himself to be as prolific as he is diverse with his subsequent records, always pointing Toro y Moi in new directions while never sacrificing his melodic sensibility or keen ear for arrangements and texture. With 2011's Underneath the Pine, he delivered a set of motorik space-age funk, trading the smeared production of Causers of This for a more crystalline sound that was still steeped in atmosphere, even without the aid of source material and drum machines. Toro Y Moi's Freaking Out EP, which came out later that year, brought '80s-inspired R&B, freestyle, and quiet storm soul into the 21st century via its shimmering digital sheen, and set the stage for 2013's introspective Anything in Return, which effortlessly glided between smoky 4/4 house-tinged pop, electro-funk and late-night electronic soul.

Toro Y Moi's latest album, What For? features stereo-panned guitars sitting high in the mix next to buzzing synthesizers, funky keys and live drumming, recorded with members of the Toro y Moi touring group as well as guest musicians like Unknown Mortal Orchestra's Ruban Nielson and multi-instrumentalist Julian Lynch all contributing to the sessions. Though What For? may be Toro y Moi's most direct outing to date, the nostalgia and reflective essence of these songs remain very much his own.

"I've done electronic R&B and more traditional recorded type R&B stuff. I just wanted to see what else was out there," Chaz says in describing the direction of the new album. "It's all coming from the same mindset and point of creativity. It's just me trying to take what I already have, and then taking it further."

As Pitchfork commented on Toro y Moi's new Samantha mixtape, "It's a testament to Bundick's innovation that he's still finding ways to contort his signature sound into new shapes... That Samantha comes in the wake of the guitar-driven What For? makes the mixtape particularly welcome, like a palette cleanser to prepare us for wherever Bundick goes next."

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