Published Sep 19, 2011You can't spell "chillwave" without "chill." Nevertheless, the genre's favourite son, Toro Y Moi (aka the fabulously named Chazwick Bundick), has little interest in taking it easy, at least in the studio. Releasing a pair of fantastic full-length records and a brand new EP in less than two years, he's been busy. Evidently, all of that activity has left little time to perfect a live show.
Backed by a lava lamp-inspired projection -- appropriately rendered in cloudy definition -- Bundick and his four-piece band played a laconic set that was frequently hampered by a muddy mix. Throughout, many a should-be incisive key or funked-up bass line was lost in general clamour. "Talamak" began buoyantly, but pounding drums stomped all over the melody. Similarly, "New Beat" lost most of its signature funk.
More successfully, "How I Know" let the rhythm section show off. A feat of timing, its tightness made it an easy highlight. For "I Will Talk to You," Bundick uncharacteristically vaulted his voice over his effects board, providing the most stirring moment of the night. And "I Can Get Love" profited from a surefooted bass line that let the synths go big. Dancing ensued, yet only briefly.
Flashes of ebullience aside, the combo never fully overcame the jumbled sound. Generally amiable, efficient and occasionally jaunty, it was an unremarkable and ultimately disappointing gig.