Clocking in at just over half an hour "Long Division" is a concise and compact modern gem. Straight at you with a gentle cascade of modern honkytonk keys and precise percussion this debut album is superb: the real deal. The mix and broad variety of tone and colour is terrifically rich.
I hear a lot of surf and good vibes here and cool pop sensibilities but there's no pap or flawed dross. Any junk, flotsam and jetsam, and I sense there would not have been a lot, was clearly removed with diligence in the creative process. It is very smooth, flows easily and although a huge gamut is displayed: brief oriental motifs, rhythmical drive with fleeting EDM pulses, it's never static and pushes ahead in a measured calm way.
Despite its reliable and relaxing texture there are minor insurgencies: explosions of dirty bass work akin to The Stranglers: fuzzy Frippy freakouts and regular bursts of ace incendiary lead playing. To extend Doc Rhombus's mathematical theme what washes ashore, is a well planned and constructed but not detrimentally calculated body of songs. One hell of a product. No debate.
As listeners, some observations we make are intangible, impossible to nail or express. Early outings with this album were spookily deja vu for me. Who does it sound like? Where have I heard it before? The truth was I hadn't, with its funky thread and crystal distinctive mellow vocal it is just brilliantly distilled and instantly contagious. I must stress though - it is not twee, contrived or annoying.
Doc Rhombus is too cultured and discerning for that. Influenced by and admiring a wide array of revered acts including Beck, Air, Kendrick Lamar, Wilco, Massive Attack, Danger Mouse and Damon Albarn his output here is not homage or copycat, it is healthily influenced but inventive and fresh with its own unique voice and worth.
A voice with many shades. A voice that coolly and clearly portrays evocative imagery and ideas via - no surprise to you by now - accomplished well-worked lyrics.
Independent and solo, "Doc" is a multi-instrumentalist and producer making music in Minneapolis and on this album he states he is examining "fractured society" and exploring "the idea that ignorance breeds division." Good music then with good ideas and thought which I am sure many will welcome in a relatively barren and shallow dumbed down era of pop and rock music.
Although the production is balanced and excellent Doc Rhombus retains a lo-fi ethic, one that first appeared on his earlier 2019 ep/mixtape, "The Condition".
"Internet Eyes" from that release is sublime, an excellent starter ~
"The Condition" received airplay across the U.S. and South Africa. Deservedly so! And earlier this year a track came out that reiterated my belief that "Mr Rhombus" really could end up going places ~
I have lived inside this release for several days now, not because it had to "grow on me" but because "I think it's top drawer" and have thoroughly enjoyed it.
It is ESSENTIAL KIT!
I hope you enjoy it too ~
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Communication via Twitter, he doesn't bite ~ @DocRhombus