Live: Always Watching You. Nite Jewel, XOYO.

A fascinating, if furtive specimen is Ramona Gonzalez. Having operated under the subtly darkened glint of her Nite Jewel moniker for nigh on five years now, she's been producing largely superb – if momentarily almost satirical lo-fi slo-soul quite consistently since, collaborating with everyone from Dâm-Funk to Julia Holter in the meanwhile. And yet despite her flagrant creativity (Gonzalez doubles up as a visual and installation artist, don't cha know) recognition and subsequent riches continue to illude. Latest full-length One Second Of Love never quite garnered the plaudits many anticipated either, and indeed we had our very own qualms with the release – not least the latter half likes of Autograph, No I Don't and Clive, all of which are tonight mercifully neglected. Perhaps a direct consequence of this diminished critical acclaim, Cowper Street's XOYO isn't exactly leaking perspiration as it's oft known to do as much as it's speckled with daubs of human here and there. That said, we've all enough impatience for a fair few as Nicholas Krgovich does his Arthur Russell-aroused synth schmooze thang...

Arguably the most pertinent question when it comes to the live show concerns how Gonzalez can translate her catalogue without hubby Cole M. Greif-Neill at the helm although with one coherent reaction to One Second Of Love being that it was perhaps a little too extravagantly polished, its pop sheen is here intriguingly stripped; chipped away at as if stripper's fingers. The result is a little scattier, a far deal scrappier and yet a whole load lovelier. This is somewhat dichotomous, for Gonzalez comes across as a startlingly megalomaniacal figure – her every attention is aimed over our heads and instead at the sound desk, whilst she'll late on demand we fill every vacated space as someones become no ones drifting off elsewhere – yet she's best when perfectionism is displaced by personality. Controvertibly something lacking when experienced on record.

The '80s pastiche of All Out Of Order – lifted from '09 EP Want You Back – is inordinately enhanced by the ditching of vocal processing, now more deep-seated groove than Goldfrapp with Weak For Me bettered thus and similarly so, with spectral trill swapped for a more rounded warble. The title track from the extended-play aforesaid meanwhile tonight comes across as Teengirl Fantasy swilled about at the bottom of a porcelain mug as though day-old coffee, Gonzalez appearing energetic yet caught in conflict. For she be vocalist, focal point and determined lead keyboardist besides; longing to flamboyantly hurl unfurled fringe yet also desiring of the finest lines. That to Chimera, needless to say, tops these. In fact just about the only one she fails to take is the Fresh Prince-indebted light bass bounce to What Did He Say, and considerably more fresh than XOYO's mothball-scented urinals it is too.

Thus if the personality of Gonzalez' nom de plume may be somewhat schizophrenically composed – and intermittently this synthetic characterisation seems mildly psychotic, having bandmates turned down whilst their backs are turned – at times everything feels perfectly balanced. The paranoiac sultriness to In the Dark; the artery-bulging pulsations of One Second Of Love; the perfectly, positively expressionless icy surges of Memory, Man all exhibit the many scintillating facets to Nite Jewel whose retro disco persona is every one of All Saints, Lizzi Bougatsos, Aaliyah and Debbie Harry all tumbled into one alluring individual. Enwrapped in the self – or this synthetic projection of – at over an hour it's a tad long, a cover of Prophet's underground '84 smash Tonight an inapposite encore yet behind the Californian façade I at least now feel as though I know, if never quite get Nite Jewel. Or Ramona Gonzalez. Either/or.