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Toro y Moi's Chill Waves Wash Over Electric Pickle

In contrast to Washed Out's idyllic, well-manicured Life of Leisure, Causers of This, the first full-length from Toro y Moi, AKA Chaz Bundick, is an intentionally chaotic affair. But it turns out that the subgenre chillwave, even in deconstructed form, has its virtues. Though Causers is an undeniably piecemeal assemblage, there's something hypnotic about the way its wafting vocals, fractured instrumental passages, and tape hiss loosely coalesce into melodies, even if they often break apart before they have a chance to fully sink in. An aural puzzle like Causers is no doubt a challenge to replicate note for note onstage, but unlike many of his chillwave peers, Bundick doesn't even try, instead preferring scaled-back renditions that better suit a one-man performance. Some may say it's a copout, but Bundick makes a compelling argument that pulling it all together is vastly overrated.

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