Les Sins / J. Phlip / City Kid Soul / Paul Chin

The Hoxton, Toronto ON, November 21

Les Sins / J. Phlip / City Kid Soul / Paul ChinThe Hoxton, Toronto ON, November 21
Photo: Kevin Jones
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Toro Y Moi's rise to the top has seen Chaz Bundick branch off to work on one or more side projects throughout his career. His electronic/dance alter ego Les Sins emerged shortly after the release of Toro Y Moi's debut album, Causers Of This, in 2010 and began releasing one-off singles on Carpark and Caribou's electronic imprint, Jiaolong. With the release of Les Sins' debut album Michael finally upon us, Bundick's DJ tour brought the party to the Hoxton, along with J. Phlip and local DJs Paul Chin and Kid City Soul.

The night started off with Paul Chin, an eclectic crowd pleasure who spun primarily '90s hits, throwing in a warped Beyonce remix every so often. It was still too early for the crowd to be drunk in love, but the room started to move a bit over time. As Chin's set began to pick up, DJ duo City Kid Soul took over and flipped into more upbeat dance music. Their selections proved to be a game changer for the dance floor, as people began to circle the stage and actually start to enjoy themselves. The room was lively, but the selections became dry and redundant, with no real contrast in style and sound. Still, it felt like a party, but lots of fancy footwork quickly returned to head bopping about 40 minutes into their set.

By the time J. Phlip took over on the decks, bodies were moving again as the renowned DJ began delivering slick house edits of Hundred Waters and other danceable gems that won the crowd over right away. The bass kept pumping and the energy seemed to stay consistent, as the Hoxton finally filled up just before midnight. Without warning, Chaz Bundick crept onto the stage and quickly set up while Phlip was still spinning.

Red lights shone from the stage and the crowd cheered "Les Sins" as Bundick jumped right into his highly anticipated set. As expected, it included a few cuts from the new album, as well as old Les Sins favourites like "Fetch" and "Grind." Along with some random funk edits and soulful house, Bundick dug into the vault and dropped hits from Boyz II Men and Nelly Furtado into the mix, flipping the script on the night with each transition and keeping fans constantly guessing as the tracks kept flowing.

As his set progressed, Bundick's impressive selections and nerdy guilty pleasures mixed into a pretty well-rounded night of upbeat tunes, bangers and unearthed classics. However, the question that stayed prevalent throughout the night was: Who is Les Sins, truly? Is it the fun-loving guy that plays all the right high school club hits ? Is it the slick house producer whose impressive string of singles has led to one of the most dance-forward records of 2014?

After a while, the two-hour set seemed to pander to a Friday night club crowd, revealing little to nothing about the true nature of Bundick's project than the occasional track from the project sprinkled into his set. "Sides Of Chaz" shone through last night (November 21) at the Hoxton, all of which were enjoyable and somewhat well received, but if this is all the live incarnation of Les Sins has to offer, you may just want to buy a bunch of booze, call your friends over, blast "Michael" on your speakers, and call it a night.

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