Witness Morgan Geist sprinkling his trademark awesome dust all over this track from Les Sins, the house side-project of Toro y Moi (real name Chazwick Bradley Bundick). Classy body music, this track is all sorts of great. Purchase it on MP3 / lossless directly from label Carpark Records here.
toro y moi
Toro Y Moi's debut was one of my real highlights of last year... That rare thing: an album that lives up to the blogger hype (yes, appreciate this is a blog and so I would say that...)
Full of funky J Dilla style loops, soulful low-in-the-mix vocals and tight eighties flourishes Causes Of This stands out as the best of what the chill wave genre can offer. It may have had the odd moment of weakness but its highlights more than outweigh them.
Underneath The Pine is unexpected. It would have been easy to just focus on taking Causes Of This and re-making it without the sub-par moments: an easy route to sophomore critical success. Instead Toro Y Moi appears to have thrown the baby out with the bathwater. The funky slabs of eighties synth are gone, replaced with a more natural sounding fuzzy seventies vibe, and the hip-hop influence has all but disappeared.
The result feels like the Carpenters covered by Animal Collective. The production here is immaculate and Chazwick Bundick's talent in this area really shows - this is a tight record. 'New Beat' is a part stomping funk number, part freeform jazz experiment and 'Divinia' is a gentle, slow paced ballad marked by it's piercing piano refrain. 'Got Blinded' is perhaps Bundick's finest vocal performance yet, his falsetto tones sounding more vulnerable than ever.
But is this the point? Underneath The Pine sounds like a frigging brilliant psychedelic album by a seventies soul artist. Which is admittedly fantastic. But ultimately this isn't the album we wanted - it's interesting, sure, but Toro Y Moi appears to have lost something along the way.
This week I got into a debate following the piece on Justice's new single over whether artists are okay just staying the same or if they need to continuously move on. My view is that progression is crucial but what I hadn't considered is the importance of time. Justice has let years fall away but have come back as if nothing has changed in the world. Toro Y Moi has done the opposite - a year after his first album we have a follow up that feels like it skips an important bridging album.
Underneath The Pine is a lovely album - it just wasn't the album we wanted.
Another year has past and so bloggers and the music press the world over feel the need to try and convince you of the best albums of the past twelve months. And so as much in an attempt to fill our pages in a quite spell as convince you of anything here are not so much the best, but our most enjoyed albums of 2010.
Not a top ten, or a top 50 even, but a good old honest top 18. Because that's how many albums we really liked this year. Part one will cover the bottom nine - come back for the rest soon.
On which Keiran Hebden stopped trying to revolutionise with every record and instead brought everything together to create something which feels a bit like a best-of approach to Four Tet. It lacked the standout moments of the classic Rounds but besides that it is his most focused work.
Unnoticed by the press but don't let that put you off, Wave and Cloud's obscurity only serves to make it even more deserving of your time. A frail and honest record that relies on songs and little more. The coupling of the weatherworn 'A Seafarer's Lament' and the heartfelt and beautiful 'If a Train Was a Doctor Was a Song' remains on of this year's best album openings.
Another album that appears to have been forgotten... Latin may not have garnered the praise heaped on previous album LP, but it demonstrates Holy Fuck's ability to continue to innovate. 'P.I.G.S.' remains one of the ill-est sounding joints we heard all year.
15. Swim - Caribou
The first Caribou release to really capture BlackPlastic's attention, Swim, along with Matthew Dear's Black City, was 2010's most danceable record for people that like to think. Simultaneously organic sounding and strangely electronic this is an album that felt more like a collaboration than an album by one artist ever normally could - one moment subtle and understated and the next needy and epic.
Almost not on the list because we heard it in 2009 it makes it here on a technicality - it wasn't officially released until 2010. It's sun-drenched cosmic disco sound is also staggering - this is the sound of taking a dip in the 40 degree heat. By adding in Christabelle, Lindstrøm went and made his best album.
13. The Age of Adz - Sufjan Stevens
Prolific and at times frankly unfocused, Stevens only seems to release two types of record - challenging and flawed or challenging and fantastic. The Age of Adz is undoubtedly the latter, from the delicate opening of 'Futile Devices' through to the 25-minute-plus 'Impossible Soul' this is the sound of Stevens tearing up the few rules he had previously adhered to. At its best, on the furious and rapid 'I Want To Be Well', complete with it's repeated "I'm not fucking around" chorus, Sufjan sounds more vital than ever.
12. Contra - Vampire Weekend
It seems that everyone but BlackPlastic loved Vampire Weekend's debut. By rights, this - the follow up to a smash record we passed up on - should have been of little interest. And yet something in Contra really captures the listener. Whether on the tight upbeat pop of 'Run' or 'Giving Up The Gun' or the slow and considered numbers that just sparkle as on 'I Think Ur A Contra' this was pretty much the perfect pop record.
11. Subiza - Delorean
In a year when BlackPlastic returned to the White Isle nothing encapsulated the feeling of basking in the Balearic sunshine quite like Delorean's debut... If one band lead the Chill Wave movement for us then it's Delorean. A bit like Animal Collective mixed with a beach, some house vibes and quite a lot of ecstasy Subiza is just too hot and sunny to resist, particularly with songs as beautiful as 'Real Love'.
10. Causers of This - Toro y Moi
Causers of This is one of 2010's sleepers for BlackPlastic - so much so that we haven't mentioned it before now. The problem is that it is flawed, if only mildly so, in that a number of it's charms are hidden away in the latter half. 'Blessa' starts things off in a pleasant but slightly uninspiring manner but there are some of 2010's best moments here - just check the snappy, funky closing couplet in the form of 'Low Shoulders' and the title track. One of this year's most promising debuts, Causers of This is the heart broken record you can dance to.