by Ben Lozovsky
Caribou makes luxurious music for unflappable spirits. At the first of two area sold out shows Friday, they laid a heavy blanket of pounding kraut and sumptuous new disco over at Music Hall of Williamsburg (they played Bowery Ballroom on Saturday) with a technical wizardry that not only felt comforting, but truly enveloping for the senses.
Even as the members, led by Daniel Snaith, remained stoically tethered to their respective corners in a tight square setup on stage, often obscured behind mounds of equipment and wild projections, Caribou never hid their intentions. The music was always burning with an anonymous, or rather all-inclusive, emotional base - it didn't boast any distinct nationality or heritage, instead speaking a collective modern language in electronic, jazz-scented and prog-driven words.
In fact, the diverse group of songs performed from Caribou's (formally Manitoba) wide catalog, often as stylistically distinct as each passing record, felt like one long flowing conversation. Each number would churn and wobble until a glowing boiling point, like the rapturous ending of "Melody Day," only to be circumvented by the slow ascent of the next one.
Opener Toro y Moi took some cues from Caribou's textural playbook, as Chazwick Bundick' enhanced his more melodically driven chillwave with backing musicians this time around. The results of the full band addition might have been unpolished at brief moments, but was nonetheless rich with detail and tension, a positive sign that Chazwick's obvious promise was on the way to being more fully realized.
Hounds of Hate were first of third on the bill, but Ben missed them. More pictures from the music Hall show with some videos from Bowery, below...
Toro y Moi
"109" - toro y moi (at Bowery Ballroom, 5.8.10)
"skunks" - caribou (live at Bowery Ballroom 5.8.10)
the encore - caribou (Bowery Ballroom)