Michael is the debut full length from Les Sins, the dance project of Toro Y Moi’s Chaz Bundick. Inspired by cartoon and movie soundtracks, the largely instrumental album explores classic dance and pop music traditions. Catchy, repetitive vocal hooks gel with beats and synth work influenced by house, techno, French electronic, and ’90s hip-hop production. Bundick made the album over two years and recorded everything in his home studio.
The funky “Why” features vocals from Berkeley, Calif. singer-songwriter Nate Salman asking “Why you wanna go and do that?” “Bother” holds down a head-bobbing, body-moving groove until a stunning hallelujah moment straight out of a sci-fi version of Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. While there are no concrete themes associated with the album, Chaz says he can imagine all of these songs playing in the middle of the brilliantly lighted and busy Ginza district in Tokyo.
Touchstones like Timbaland, Mr. Oizo, and Daft Punk, and contemporaries such as Motor City Drum Ensemble offered inspiration, but most influential on the making of the album was the sage advice of a design icon. “My favorite graphic designer, P. Rand always said, ‘Don’t try to be original, just try to be good,’” Bundick says. “When making this record that was/is my mantra—it was just constantly looping in my mind. I believe ‘good’ is timeless and once you can recognize that you’ll see the world in its fullest.”
Michael follows a 12” on Carpark Records and two singles for Jiaolong. The LP is the first release on Company Records, a new label partnership between Chaz and Carpark.