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Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand | INDIE

Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand | INDIE
Band EDM Soul


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Album review 2008"


Rhombus- Written by Tom Cardy
(Dominion Post)
Friday, 11 October 2008
Rhombus have always had the edge when mixing dub and reggae with hip-hop, dance and funk. So why they are not as big as fellow Welly bands The Black Seeds or Fat Freddy's Drop is a mystery. They are as strong on songcraft, musicality and, well, making music that you can dance to.

Their self-titled third studio album is their first since the departure of singer Imon Star, who had a big presence. Maybe it's because core members Thomas Voyce and Simon Rycroft are still at the helm, but Star's departure hasn't meant the band has lost its bearings.

Instead, they are still on course, producing some of their best songs ever. So Close is as slow and laid-back as a snail on Valium, and so beautifully done. It's the same on the jazz-infused Home to Me with singer lisa Tomlins, her voice ensnaring the listener as much as the bass-line.

Nor do they falter when they up the ante on Dub instrumental Pinata, which drips deliciously with organ, or the dark, metallic electronica under-pinning Prize Fighter.

We deserve a real summer. This is the soundtrack for it.
4 stars. Tom Cardy
- Dominion Post (Tom Cardy)

"Album review by Texture"

Rhombus: Rhombus - New Album

Well this is a mighty fine surprise. Local lads Rhombus have pulled out all the stops to produce one very good album indeed.

But it’s not just the fact that this is quite an accomplished piece of work, their trademark mixing and melding of genres has reached a new level as well. You can flow from solid grooves, to a heavy bass thump, to some reggae of the purest quality, all in the shortest of trips across the tracks.

This is achieved with the help of an ensemble cast with a wide range of strengths. The sexy voice of Lisa Tomlins, the urban panther growl of MC Antsman, A quartet of Japanese MCs who close out the album in fine style, some sweet tech touches from producer Koa, and oh-so much more…

That Reggae of pure cut and delivery is embodied in track Babylon Retreat, where outstanding Jamaican MC Ranking Joe, really speaks from a dreadlocked heart of truth. Its pure bliss, and had me in mind of those old Coruba ads, where life on the islands is one beautiful time after the next.

Hawera Sees Tomlins and Antsman show off their skills in celebration of the uncomplicated life in good old ‘Naki-Vegas. The track itself shows some sprightliness, bouncing up and down like a bogan at a Metallica concert – it’s joyous and catchy as all hell.

The best thing about this nice piece of Wellington music finery is how bloody promising it is when you think about live performances. Obviously some of the MCs will probably be missing when you next see them perform, but each song has “potential house-bringer-downer” stamped across it in burning letters. I can’t wait to see them perform this stuff a foot’s distance from my face.

I bet you it goes off.


Posted Monday, October 20, 2008 8:16 PM

- Texture.co.nz (Darren)

"Onwards Remixes & Archives"

Usually remix albums for me signal a band that is just cruising and being a little bit lazy. This effort has changed my mind a little to admitting there is some value in the mix.
Rhombus, a veteran of the Wellington scene, have produced two albums; the phenomenal Bass Player(2002) and last years follow up Future Reference. Most of the material in this collaboration is rom the latter with two tracks 'Onwards' and 'Tour Of Outer Space' cleverly remixed amid some tracks from the archive. Future Reference was a great album in parts but also let itself down with some pretty average tracks. In part, this album makes up for that. Like a plane ride, so often used as a metaphor in Future, the excitement of taking off and landing is matched by the brilliant beginning and closing tracks on Onwards.
A few of the outstanding tracks are 'Soul', that captures a harp back to the old-school dance hall, DJ Fitchie's bizness upgrade of 'Mile High' and the Submariner Extended Remix of 'Tour of Outer Space'. The rest of the album is like the entirety of a mundane flight punctuated by moments of magic that grab your attention. Most people have an opinion about the remix and this album should add air-miles to the argument that is a worthwhile journey to take. - RIP IT UP (by Peter Thornton), NZ, 2006

"Rhombus Live @Sandwiches, Wellington"

Launching their Onwards tour, Rhombus first landing was Wellington's Sandwiches to introduce their new crew. Plugging last year's much needed international release of Onwards: Remixes and Archives, the culturally diverse crowd were eager to hear where Rhombus were at. Formed in 2001, this tour is a symbol of change and a new structure looking ahead. Now spreading their voice and the spirit of their past successful albums Bass Player and Future Reference, throughout New Zealand and Australia. The remix of Swans gracefully glides through the air, with Lisa Tomlin's deeply soulful brilliance soaring high. Again with DJ Fitchie and Tony Chang's funky mix up of Mile High, Lisa's voice is a strength that adds to Rhombus' depth, ensuring the crowd were all positive smiles and dancing feet. Sticking with the ladies here, Raashi Malik's voice enlightens the band with her Indian roots. Her voice encapsulates her Eastern culture and again Raashi's glowing input was widely respected and embraced by the expressive and contented crowd. MC Antsman and Lisa Tomlin together had it going on with Future Reference, proving to be a favorite on the dance floor. Spaceman was part of their second encore allowing a nostalgic grin and MC Mana's lyrical blast in Onward also kicked things up nicely with a heartfelt dub vibe....the remixes are tight and their travels ahead could add another level to this band's lifespan. As long as they keep producing the quality sounds of the old Rhombus, their original and future fans shall not be disappointed. - Lucy Wyatt, NZ, 2006

"Onwards Remixes & Archives"

Reggae can be so boring with its laid back 4/4 timing, predictable bass lines and raspy vocals that sounds like they're half asleep. Its repetitive chord structures strikes me clueless as to how this musical style can be revered amongst the populous. It's as formulaic as a boy band, as inventive as Hollywood produced teen mock-umentaries and holds my attention span as much as commercial radio. Pass me a bass guitar and I'll demonstrate exactly what I mean! But having blindly put on the new album from Rhombus I found myself hip shaking to dizzying heights yet totally relaxed at the same time - I felt like I was enjoying a spliff with the Rastas.What's happening? I was asking myself.
Anyone can make a beat, vary it on the 1 and 3 and sing lyrically over it. Am I really dancing to this?! So what makes Rhombus so unique? Listen to the first three tracks and you'll catch onto the diversity of the Rhombus crew that make them so strong. Opening with the samba groove in Swans (remix), onwards to a bossa nova, smooth, space rhythm in Ghost Town Dub, and onto a contemporary swing take on the remix of Soul complete with rebel beat poetry, each track is unique and most importantly danceable. Tour of Outer Space is one of the sexiest tracks I've heard with thanks to the breathy vocal talent of Raashi Malik and Imon Star as they sing metaphor about passionate dancing in space and loved ones being far away from each other. Hailing from Wellington, NZ, Rhombus have enlisted the help of their own ocal music contemporaries and friends like DJ Fitchie of Fat Freddy's Drop who has remixed their first radio single Mile High, Auckland producer/engineer/DJ Submariner and electronic/cinematic composer Rhian Sheehan, who have all put their own spin on some of the tracks. Even Lee Scratch Perry makes an appearance with samples taken from a live press conference.
The result is a diverse and eclectic album laden with just the right amount of dub and reggae interspersed with spoken word, hip-hop, global groove, acid jazz and electro beats. Combined with previously unreleased tracks from their past three releases this album could be interpreted as partly influenced by record company pressure. Nevertheless, despite whose choice it was, Rhombus have done a good job of keeping fans on their toes. Its stellar production enhances the cacophony of sounds woven through the beats making it exciting and full of tiny surprises like the gentle reverb percussion, random rattles, sweeping space patterns, subtle panning, and is that a theremin I hear? Rhombus has developed a healthy rapport from their tight knit livep erformances that transcends onto the production of this album. Catch them next time they're on the festival circuit. They'll change the way you think about reggae. - The Program (by Shuk-Wha Chung), Australia, 2006


Albums (CD):
• Self Titled (2008)
• Onwards Remixes & Archives (2006)
• Future Reference (2005)
• Bass Player (2002)
(Note: All above is digitally available at vitamin.net.au)

• plus numerous compilations

Vinyl Releases:
• Hawera 7" (2008)
• Babylon Retreat feat. Ranking Joe 7" (2008)
• Together 12" (2004)
• Mile High 12" (2006)



Initiated in 2001, by founding members Thomas Voyce and Simon Rycroft, Rhombus is a constantly evolving Wellington based Aotearoa(NZ) collective.
Rotating band members are Thomas Voyce, Simon Rycroft, Koa Williams, MC Antsman, Lisa Tomlins, Raashi Malik, Peter Hill(Guitar) and occassional guest musicians and visual artist Michel Tuffery.
The Rhombus sound is a seamless blend of funky hip-hop, soul, roots-reggae, spliced together with socially conscious lyrics. They’ve forged a well-deserved reputation and following among international and local audiences for their eclectic, original and energetic live shows.

A scroll through the line-up underlines the diversity of the Rhombus collective: vocalist Lisa Tomlins of NZ Maori descent, is a world-class diva, frequently guesting with the internationally-acclaimed Fat Freddys Drop and Recloose; fellow vocalist Raashi Malik, of Indian descent; MC Anstman of Samoan descent, is involved with the arts development of Pacific Culture; while leading New Zealand contemporary artist Michel Tuffery demonstrates the vision of engaging his artistic mediums to create another level of experience for the audience and Rhombus.
The causes that Rhombus have given their time to include Greenpeace, tsunami relief, surf-aid, the Cancer Society, the New Zealand Youth Parliament and the Peace Boat, which band co-founders Simon Rycroft and Thomas Voyce have been involved with throughout 2006. Their travels on the Japan-based global NGO Peace Boat have taken them through the Caribbean (including Jamaica – home of Studio One, King Tubby and many other influential artists) and through the Pacific, spreading the values of sustainability, co-operation and peace from a chartered ship.

In between their social outreach efforts, Simon and Thomas have been conducting music workshops and performing for the Peace Boat, including a performance with Radioactive, a member of the politically charged musical group Michael Franti & Spearhead, while stopping over in San Francisco. He is an emcee, beatboxer, writer, and painter. He plays musical instruments, incorporates electronic beats with his beatbox and commands active audience participation during his always fresh, soulful original live performances.

Rhombus have been spreading the word since 2002, touring on both local and international stages, which include Australia and Japan. Their unique sound has put them at the top of the New Zealand music industry having performed alongside the likes of St Germain (France), Fat Freddy's Drop (NZ), Salmonella Dub (NZ), Michael Franti (USA), Dry and Heavy (Japan), Trinity Roots (NZ), Gomez (UK), Kora (NZ), Shapeshifter (NZ), Katchafire (NZ), they were also billed for New Zealand’s Big Day Out in 2003 and 2006, laying testament to their profile in their local scene.

Along the way, they’ve picked up many awards, including New Zealand’s Most Promising New Act in 2002; Best Video, Best Electronic Album and Best Album at 2003’s New Zealand b-Net Music Awards and recently “Best Aotearoa Roots Album finalist” at the NZ 2006 Music Awards.