Ibeyi at the Mod Club

French-Cuban soul sisters go minimal


IBEYI at Mod Club, Friday, March 27. Rating: NNN

French-Cuban duo Ibeyi performed alone on the big Mod Club stage, and the twin sisters had more than enough presence to command the room. The arrangements on their self-titled debut are stripped-down, and in the live setting that minimalism was emphasized even more. They performed some songs completely a cappella, and others embellished only with subtle piano lines by Lisa Diaz, with Naomi Diaz tapping out hip-hop-influenced beats on the cajon or the batas.

That acoustic approach was effective enough, but when Naomi drummed out additional electronic percussion from trigger pads the songs sprang to life and got the crowd moving. There’s something undeniably powerful about the twins standing alone on the stage, and their voices blend in a magical way only sisters seem able to pull off. Still, much of their material seems better suited to soft seat venues than rock clubs. The electronic elements often felt like afterthoughts, but added a lot, and could be developed further for performances.

benjaminb@nowtoronto.com | @benjaminboles

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