les-sins

It’s easy to understand why Chaz Bundick thought this was a good idea. On emerging as Toro y Moi back in 2009, the South Carolina producer was immediately branded with the “chillwave” iron and herded along with the likes of Neon Indian and Washed Out. Five years on and Les Sins is intended both as a dance-orientated outlet and a sort of reclamation of identity. Unfortunately, there are a couple of deal-breakers.

First, relatively recent Toro y Moi tracks like ‘Say That’ have already thrust Bundick out of the bedroom and on to the dance floor, thereby rendering the Les Sins moniker slightly redundant (just as Nile Rodgers doesn’t have a pressing need for a disco-funk alter-ego). Secondly – and perhaps a consequence of the above – Bundick tries too hard to distinguish this debut from the Toro y Moi releases. Verse-and-chorus structure has been purposefully eschewed, any semblance of bass has largely been stripped out and vocals have been dispensed with save for a few fractured samples.

The result is a sterile, oddly anaemic album, which, in the main, makes for rather a boring listen. The tracks that do work are those that cleave closest to Bundick’s usual style, like the bouncing synth-pop of ‘Why’ and soulful slow-burner ‘Bellow’. Otherwise, you’ll hear better dance records this year, probably from Toro y Moi.

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