Toro Y Moi, meaning “Bull and Me” in Spanish and French, respectively, is what cassettecouture.com describes as “chill-wave.” His album, “Causers of This,” is kind of erotic in a summery sort of way. Released on Carpark Records, Toro Y Moi is perfectly fuzzy and dreamy in every sense.
It’s lo-fi slow jamz for the upcoming summer of 2010. The music itself comes in extraordinary waves of synth-bass. It’s the aural equivalent of making love in a computer-generated ocean.
That is, at least, what I think it is, but it’s hard to say. Growing up, I learned about sex from Adam Sandler films. I suppose we all did. More recently, however, I’ve been learning about sex from literature and music and how bad I am at it.
I think that is why I don’t really understand “dance music,” or why all you kids are so enthralled with beats. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard somebody justify a song because it had an awesome beat. It’s a sensual world of which I seem doomed to be on the outside, looking in and analyzing with the fear and discomfort of a seven-year-old kid watching “Eyes Wide Shut.”
The artist’s name, Toro Y Moi, is itself a sensuality that implies an attraction to something more dangerous than just a sexual creature, but a friend, somebody with the power to destroy you. It is a dangerous and exotic territory that is defied and denigrated by unnecessarily foreign language.
It is just as Harold Little-Smith from John Updike’s “Couples” accounts for the mutual adulterous attraction between friends, “It’s natural enough considering how much we see each other. For that matter, there’s an attraction between you and me. Toi et moi.”
Similarly, the language of the album is strangely comprehensible yet obscured. As I’ve said, the sound comes in waves and is fuzzy in the way summer is. He sings the way one would seduce a friend – it’s fun and flirtatious. You couldn’t seduce a stranger to this album, but you might manage the forbidden fruits of a friend.
The music swells and fades, it is a rhythm that makes sense to me. The synthetic beat plays more of a supporting role instead of the driving force. But the lyrics, the faded words, accentuate a sensitive and discreet personality. For a better idea, check out the music video for Blessa and just see.
Ultimately, the album is sort of refreshing for me. It’s a more personal sort of dance – the dance we share with friends before we go downtown, not so much to get amped up as it is to inspire a sense of nostalgia. It invigorates the soul more than the body. It’s less “Billy Maddison” and more “Punch Drunk-Love.”
Check it out for yourselves on April 13 at the SLO Arts Center when Toro y Moi comes to town with the Ruby Suns.