Chaz Bundick, a.k.a. Toro Y Moi
Chillwave, New Wave, Indie Pop, Synth Pop, glo-fi, whatever you’re called, it’s hard to say how long you’ll stick around, but damn am I a fan. Chillwave is the upcoming genre bandwagon that artists are jumping onto after it caught some indie fire back in ‘09. There are names out there like Toro Y Moi, Neon Indian, and Washed Out that are well known and have already established their rightful place as the best New Wave artists out there. They were there from the start, which is why they often joke about how they’ve created a scene that never really happened.
For those unaware, Chillwave generally has an 80’s influence, dance-y beats, heavy sampling, and commonly recorded in a noticeably lo-fi standard. The quality you’d hear on a cassette mix-tape. It’s hard for me to personally describe why it’s sometimes better to have lower quality, but Ernest Greene, otherwise known as Washed Out, simply put, “The cool thing about cassettes is that they are made by hand and each one sounds slightly different, so it makes for a more personal experience.”
Just about anyone can afford the necessary musical equipment. Maybe bedroom acts will become the new standard? I’m personally all for it, it’s great that anyone who wants to express themselves has the ability to do so, without having to pay the thousands to rent a recording studio. However, that can also be its biggest downfall. It could transform into something unlistenable or just turn into, oh I don’t know, Catwave. It almost feels like lofi is taking the indie scene a step backwards because people are in need to hear new, but cheapened sounds. If I had to put money on an artist that could prevent the death of “Chillwave”, and execute it correctly, it would be Small Black.
Small Black recently released a FREE downloadable mix-tape on their Soundcloud for everyone to enjoy. It’s absolutely incredible. They even got Heems from Das Racist to perform a couple verses. (He must be a fan of this bizarre, (but great!) genre.) So please, give it a shot. Enjoy the vibes.