Live Review: Toro Y Moi, World Champion, Jonti DJ

5 January 2016 | 2:26 pm | Xavier Rubetzki Noonan

"The new tracks fit well alongside the more explicitly disco- and dance-influenced work from recent years."

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On a rainy Monday, it can take a lot to make it feel like heading out to a gig was the right choice. Thankfully, Jonti DJ brought warmth to the room, seamlessly blending classic disco-pop and hip hop with upbeat, rhythmic Mexican and South American grooves; before long the crowd had forgotten about that pillow-fort-Netflix-setup they left behind at home, and were ready to dance.

Local duo World Champion kept the dancey vibe going, sharing tracks from their just-released debut Avocado Galaxy with the help of live drums and a laptop. The backing track heightened the grooves to pretty spectacular levels, with waves of gorgeous synth and well-placed percussion washing over the crowd. However, the pre-recorded stuff was somewhat overbearing at times, and more importantly, didn't leave the three dudes on stage with nearly enough to do. Watching the singer-guitarist practically ignore his Telecaster for half a song whilst synth melody and harmony swirled around him was strange to say the least.

Chaz Bundick, better known as Toro Y Moi, is in town for Falls Festival, and since his last visit in 2014, his style has shifted again, now employing more guitars and aiming for a more garage-rock sound. Live, this means there’s yet another flavour in the mix, making his Sydney sideshow all the more engaging. From the absolutely electric Lilly, with its huge, punchy drums and clavi keys that bore into your head in the verses, to Half-Dome with its steady, charging bass and fist-pumping chorus, the new tracks fit well alongside the more explicitly disco- and dance-influenced work from recent years.

Surprisingly, the band sounded a bit out of sync at times - the drummer was relying on a click-track in his earpiece and seemed to be thrown off by it throughout the set. To his credit, Bundick’s confidence didn’t let up, and his ability to get the band (and the whole room) back on the same wavelength was undeniable.

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