ALBUM REVIEW: Toro Y Moi, MAHAL
Updated: Jun 28, 2022
I still contend to this day that Outer Peace is the definitive expression from Chaz Bundick, aka Toro Y Moi. It has funk, great choruses, slow jams and some of the best electronic pop production I’d heard in many years. With a perfect and brief feature on Blood Orange’s “Dark and Handsome” the same year, everything was really looking up for Chaz, he kind of had the indie scene by the balls. As a creative, it’s clear that Bundick is never satisfied just staying in one particular genre. He has always hopped back and forth between guitar centric, ‘70s jam rock and futuristic pop music, and MAHAL is a solid helping of the former. The record starts off with an Unknown Mortal Orchestra feature and no words, just vibes. That’s when I knew this project was going to be something very different.
For my taste, it’s his best in this style, and his second best album. It really fuses his electronic and psychedelic sensibilities with his passion for organic rock music. The faded “Magazine” combines the shuffling drum patterns of ‘70s AM radio with his own blend of hipster (fucking hate that word sorry) rap. The other single, “Postman”, is much more playful with Funkadelic bass tendencies and odd screamed ad-libs (“AAHHHGGG!!”) Tracks like “Mississippi” and “The Loop” are slow, sentimental and syrupy, while something like “Millennium” finds incredible material in the middle lane. This album sounds like it was deeply fun to create, and with so many kooky collaborators like The Mattson 2 and Salami Rose Joe Louis, this is definitely a standout for me personally.