Live Review: RÜFÜS, Cassian, Yuma X

26 October 2015 | 1:42 pm | Nicolette Ward

"With streams of white light going out into the air and lighting up the courtyard trees, the band got high on the sight."

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With a waxing crescent moon nestled in the sky on a spring clear evening, the outdoor ambience of Fremantle Arts Centre was set for the smooth electro-chill sounds of a Sydney trifecta — Yuma X, Cassian and headline act RÜFÜS.

Duo Yuma X set about creating a dreamy late night recovery vibe, albeit as the moon was just rising, and provided a calm antidote to the building expectations. Vocals were sultry and strong, with a heavy use of looping fleshing out the sound, while patient electronic beats lended themselves to gazing at the horizon. Swimming Pool was particularly lush as its hypnotic church organ drone was amplified, and the beat slowed down as if stretching time.

Sydney DJ and house music producer of the moment Cassian took up the next support. Mixing crafty build-ups and slick transitions that included recognisable classic house signifiers such as hi-hats, keyboard stabs, and a heavy dose of breathy a cappella chorus, Cassian also threw in a few more surprising references and showed himself to be a maestro of club summer playlists. He favoured a more soulful love vibe over dance club frenzy (as compared to his killer set a week earlier at Geisha). Thanks to self-produced tracks such as Feel It, it's easy to see why Cassian is joining RÜFÜS for their US tour dates.

The three unassuming-looking guys who are RÜFÜS then came on with an extended progressive intro teaser of their newly released banger You Were Right that then morphed seamlessly into the ultra-smooth Sundream. With a light show of weaving lasers giving a lattice effect to the back of the stage that matched the emotional moods of their various tunes, the trio brought some spunk into their easy listening singalong hits such as Take Me. Tyrone Lindqvist's laconic vocals sounded more nuanced and less oil-slicked than on record, but did veer dangerously at times with too much treble pitch on their slower-paced new tunes such as Like An Animal that are more downbeat than uplifting. Rendezvous, introduced as being about "late night ice-cream and chocolate, I mean, sex", and Imaginary Air both got a great workout as Jon George's subtle keys extended the trance and gave us some tasty trip hop transcendence. With streams of white light going out into the air and lighting up the courtyard trees, the band got high on the sight, exclaiming that "this is the best place and best venue in Australia".

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