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Toro Y Moi, aka Chaz Bundick, has traded in his chill, danceable sound for more upbeat, definitive dance music on Michael, the debut album from his electronic side project Les Sins. The record marks the first release on Company Records, a new collaboration between Bundick and his current label Carpark. Where Toro Y Moi allows Bundick to be a lead vocalist and use a live band, Michael takes him back to his roots as a producer.

The album is mainly instrumental, with chopped vocal hooks looping throughout the tracks. Jumping from house to techno to '90s hip-hop production, Bundick takes you on a ride that is sometimes risky, always inspired and never boring.

A lack of apparent theme running throughout the album helps Les Sins' venture rather than hurts it. Instead of being stifled by a specific storyline, the producer is free to go wherever he feels with the album. Inspired by the late graphic designer Paul Rand, Bundick said his goal was to try and be good rather than original; which is exactly what he did. Michael isn't a revolutionary dance album, but it's a good one.

Album opener 'Talk About' is a solid introduction to Les Sins' sound. While some have eagerly followed his singles released over the past few years, it's a welcoming track for new listeners and debut-anticipating fans alike. Wavering synths reminiscent of Disclosure build around a choppy vocal sample for a warm, house sound. But rather than follow a formula throughout the record, Bundick transitions into 'Past' and 'Toy', darker, Kanye-esque tracks with droning auto-tuned vocal bits. He plays with mood changes within the songs as well, altering the tempo halfway through 'Toy' while layering expanding synths on top of a flickering flute.

The only track to feature a vocalist is 'Why', featuring L.A.'s Nate Salman, who adds pop flavour to the album. The funky bass calls to mind the sound of electro-funk duo and previous Toro Y Moi collaborator Chromeo. Other album highlights include the choppy, hypnotic single 'Bother', Bundick's experiments with bass womps on techno track 'Call', and closing piano-heavy jam Do Right'.

Michael is everything one would expect from Les Sins' highly anticipated debut and more. While Bundick allows his alter ego to take some risks, he ultimately focuses on catchy beats and clean production that is sure to keep dancefloors warm throughout the winter. I'm not sure whether being good is always better than being original, but on Michael, Les Sins makes a damn good case.

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