A Taste of Toro

Chazwick Bradley Bundick! The man otherwise known as Toro y Moi or Les Sins had quite a bit of hype surrounding him prior to his date with Vancouver last Tuesday at the Biltmore Cabaret. The well-versed yet still relatively undiscovered young man who has just released his third full-length studio album did not disappoint his curious audience.

There was, however, quite a hurdle for the crowd to get over first, Sinkane, the act tasked with warm-up duties. A powerful group of musicians with their vast range of styles and genres under their belt, they did quite the job on warming up the sold out Biltmore, especially with their stand-out track “Jeeper Creeper”, which washed down over the audience in magnificent fashion. This beautiful, guitar-driven Afrodub space jam was a delight to open the evening with and took the crowd by surprise. They proceeded to take the crowd off on a dreamy journey for close to ten minutes with an extended version of the track which allowed for numerous solo segments by each musician where each ran wild.

Ahmed Gallab appears to be the brains of the operation, pulling all the strings on stage with his multi-instrumental gymnastics and vocal effects. His band-mates seemed well-seasoned world music artists, each with their own set of cultured skills. They continued on for a high-energy forty minute set exhibiting an array of worldly rhythms all held together with a warm steady groove.

There was a rather long wait for the main act but it all seemed worthwhile when Mr. Bundick arrived on stage to an adoring audience and jumped directly into some glorious disco-pop chillwave, not budging from said vibe for the night. His stage setup was flanked by two neon light boxes which glowed and flickered behind the band throughout and set a vibrant tone that matched the music perfectly.

Chaz manages to compile quite an accomplished sound with traces of all things ’80s and more, but his sound is textured with a rave-y electronic undercurrent and vocals with a soft subtle reverb. He changed fast between songs and kept things moving along sliding through tracks from some of his previous releases like “New Beat” then shifting on to his latest offerings from the LP Anything In Return (out now on Carpark Records; check out our review here), most notably “Say That” toward the end of the set which was a real treat to his mid-week disco revellers.

With such a strong support act, and with both acts delivering the goods diligently, the show has to go down as a total success. Actually, Sinkane may have stolen the show, what with their infectious guitar melodies and hypnotic Afro rhythms that had such a lasting effect.