Max Bell is in the back sipping on yak.
For the past two years L.A. based producer/DJ/singer/multi-instrumentalist (and not the other way around) Toy Light has operated at the intersection of indie rock and beat scene electronic, somewhere between Thom Yorke and Flying Lotus. If you haven’t seen his name around these parts, then you might’ve seen it on a Low End Theory flyer(s) or in the pages of LA Weekly. He also appears on “Dark Comedy Morning Show,” my favorite song on Open Mike Eagle’s forthcoming Dark Comedy (more words here).
Armed with an aegis of watercolors (see his artwork), glitch, static, and distortion, and a croon capable of melting the undergarments of all female art majors on the UCLA campus, Toy Light was so close to excising his influences on this year’s Afterlife that it’s safe to say his next original producto de Westwood may be his breakout.
The twenty-one-year-old’s latest gratis offering is a remix of Schoolboy Q’s “Yay Yay.” While it should go without saying, “Yay Yay” is still one of the best songs that didn’t make the official track list for Q’s Oxymoron. Boi-1da crafts woozy, wobbling menace and Q supplies the China white nightmares with a growl of gravel and blunt ashes. The chants of “YAWK, YAWK, YAWK!” are requisite as much as they are involuntary.
Toy Light’s remix does what the best remixes do, retaining and accentuating the most effective aspects of the original while inflecting the song with a singular, personal twist.
The bounce and bump of the original are not sacrificed. If anything, the remix bangs harder. Toy Light dictates when and where Q’s vocals appear, cherry-picking his best bars. Towards the middle, Q’s voice echoes from deep within Styrofoam caverns before returning with full force. With sinewy, snake-like blip and glitch throughout, the track bares all the hallmarks of Toy Light’s oeuvre thus far, finally giving way to the pervasive melancholy characterized by his murky chords.
All description aside, Toy Light’s remix is damn good — carefully constructed cacophony with a melody both deceptive and difficult to achieve. The last I’ll say is that I saw Toy Light drop this at The Mint during Mike Eagle’s listening party last week. No one was ready. At a different venue, all in attendance will undoubtedly scream “YAWK, YAWK, YAWK!” in unison.