TORO Y MOI at Lee’s Palace, Sunday February 17. Rating: NNN
There are many subtleties in the evolution Chaz Bundick's sound that are not readily apparent in concert. The South Carolina musician is best known as a maker of lo-fi ambient synth pop - or chillwave - that has evolved over the years into rhythmically taut reimaginings of 80s pop, light soul, disco, house and electro funk with a decidedly modern emphasis on the low-end.
On stage, however, the driving beats and liquid basslines that kept the crowd shuffling pleasantly beneath curling clouds of sweet-smelling smoke were satisfyingly robust, but also seemed to erase any stylistic variation from the setlist, which spanned his three studio albums. Even when the tempo reached banger territory on Say That and Low Shoulder, the overall effect was strangely anesthetizing.
Through it all Bundick, whose frame is as slight as his voice, stood at the centre of his three-piece band, in the middle of a flickering rainbow light display and sang his winsome melodies with just enough force to add an emotional depth to the proceedings.