Album reviews

Toro y Moi: ‘Underneath the Pine’

By Michael Brodeur
Globe Staff / February 22, 2011

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The bad news is that “Underneath the Pine’’ may represent one of chillwave’s top practitioners laying the lovable quasi-genre to rest. The good news is that you won’t miss the stuff one bit. Beatsmith Chaz Bundick has expanded his sonic palette past electronics that sound like they were left to melt in the dryer, and incorporated a bedroom’s worth of actual instruments — and the difference it makes is striking. “Underneath’’ is crisp, clean, smooth, and smart. It’s also heavily indebted to Stereolab: the halting organ chirps and twinkling harpsichords of “Go With You,’’ the logy bass line and nervous piano of “Got Blinded,’’ and the chemical chords of “How I Know’’ all point to latter-day ’Lab while managing to be 10 times as catchy. Bundick’s softer side emerges on “Divina’’ and “Before I’m Done.’’ Most likely to lodge themselves in your playlist are lite-funk future classics “Still Sound’’ and “New Beat.’’ “Underneath’’ is a side of Bundick we haven’t heard yet, and it’s the next logical step of a burgeoning underground sound that can only benefit from a bit of realness — call it “skillwave.’’ (Out today)

ESSENTIAL “Still Sound’’

Toro y Moi play Brighton Music Hall April 9.