Rhombus: After Party (Rhombus/digital outlets)

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Border Patrol
 Rhombus: After Party (Rhombus/digital outlets)

Now this is unexpected. The last time we heard from Wellington's dub, drum'n'bass-cum-electronica outfit Rhombus would have been almost 15 years ago.

The two CDs I have -- Bass Player (2002) and their self-titled release of 2008 – are on the shelf alongside the likes of Chelsea, Phelps and Munroe, Recloose and others giving that electronic vibe in the early 2000s.

But here are founder members Thomas Voyce and Simon Roycroft back – the latter back from Holland – teaming up again with Koa Williamss and a bevy of guest vocals (among them Lisa Tomlins, Matthew Allison, Maree Lawn and Raashi Malik) to take a gentle trip through enjoyably familiar territory with touches of reggae, spacey ambience, chill-out moods and subtle soul.

There is classy trip-hop on the seductive Settle In with vocals by Lawn (echoes of Massive Attack), the shapeshifting OBX opens by conjuring up the dub-adelica of Augustus Pablo, the catchy single Treat You So Right with vocals by TK Paradza and Tomlins has woozy trombone and the beautifully crafted title track brings some terrific bass to the fore amidst the slashes of beats, electronica and samples.

Border Patrol right at the end is a surreptitious piece freighted some welcome unease.

Rhombus may find touchstones in their past but the slightly ill-named After Party – which suggests some rowdy celebration – is considered and the past is made over into something contemporary and thoroughly engaging.

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You can find this and other Rhombus albums at bandcamp here


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