Radio show host, DJ, and co-founder of the Thunder Bay Bass Collective, our guest for SR0020, Rhombi, brings us a 140 mix that staddles dubstep, grime and bass.
Music has always played a large role in my life.
I’m based out of Thunder Bay, a small city in Ontario. I’ve been involved in playing and making music since I was quite young; playing piano, guitar, and oboe throughout my formative years and into my adolescence. Music has always played a large role in my life, from collecting CDs to vinyl, going to concerts, and eventually DJing, music has allowed me a positive creative outlet. Music was always central to my childhood with both of my parents being huge lovers of music. The kind of music I heard growing up included such legends as Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, The Clash, Madness, Elton John, and many more. Growing up in an isolated region (8+ hours from any major city) I was forced to seek out and explore different genres online and through watching late-night music shows on TV (Much Music’s “The Punk Show” and “Rap City” both of which stand out in my mind). Through this I established a hugely varied taste in music during my adolescence, listening to the Deftones, NOFX, Radiohead, Blu & Exile, Mos Def, MF DOOM, and many more.
Geometric shapes, festivals and radio shows.
I’ve been DJing under the moniker of Rhombi since 2017 when I asked a close friend and mentor if she could teach me how to spin. I made my debut a few months after I purchased my first controller in May of that year, at an underground event I helped throw called the Grave Rave. Since then I’ve been a regular at local events and have worked hard to appear at a couple of Canadian Festivals. I’ve had the pleasure of appearing at Future Forest Festival, Valhalla Sound Circus, Sub Zero Music Festival, Tumblestone Festival, and have had mixes featured by Subcultured Toronto, Dubplate.FM, Future Curse, and Lush Lounge Records.
The name Rhombi is derived from the geometric shape rhombic hexecontahedron, which is a non-convex shape that has 60 golden rhombic faces with icosahedral symmetry. I wanted to use a geometric shape because I thought logo design would be easier with something I could base it off of. This hasn't worked out thus far, but if I ever have merch I might use it for that.
Now, I help run the Thunder Bay Bass Collective alongside Lysis, which is a crew of dedicated DJs and producers that work to promote sound system culture in Northwestern Ontario. I also co-host a weekly radio show on my local campus station CILU 102.7fm called Audio Vomit. Through these endeavours, I’ve also helped start a mix series collaborating between the two called the Audio Vomit x Thunder Bay Bass Collective mix series which works to showcase local, regional, and national talent within underground electronic music in Canada.
You can count on me to spin a dark and eclectic mix of eyes down 140 bass and grime.
I draw a lot of influence from the darker side of dubstep and grime and am always looking for edgy tracks with global influences, low frequencies, and foreboding energy. I also have a lot of love for DnB, as it’s the genre I first learned how to DJ with. I have been known to play a mix of techstep, liquid, and minimal drum and bass when the time is right.
My early sound was inspired by the west coast bass scene in Canada, having attended Shambhala a couple of times right around when I was getting into the electronic scene locally. Through attending there and having my first real taste of proper underground electronic music, I was able to diversify my interests. Early releases on Deep Medi and System were what really influenced me in making the realm of real dubstep my comfort zone as a selector.
Right now, I’m drawing a lot of influence from 6 Figure Gang, CNCPT Collective, Slimzos, Sector 7, Bandulu, 1985, and White Peach. The blurring of lines between dubstep and grime is what inspires me creatively. It’s exciting to see young and veteran producers taking risks and pushing dubstep forward into the new decade, I can't even imagine where things will go!
In my mix for St. Romain, you’ll find releases from some of my favourite labels including Sector 7 and Fat Kid on Fire. This mix straddles the line between dubstep, grime, and a sound that I can only describe as 140 bass. I find myself drawn to tracks that have diverse elements, crisp drums, and a rolling bassline. Global or “world” influences play a huge role in whether I select a track or not.
On top of that, The Thunder Bay Bass Collective is a huge passion project for me right now. For people interested in getting to know underground music in Canada, we have 12 mixes featuring many underground artists that we feel are pushing their sound forward.
Supporting my peers and developing as an artist.
Over the last six months, I’ve been working to build connections with artists across the country and help build them up. I get a lot of satisfaction from listening and following all of my peer’s successes in music and hope to draw inspiration from that. I’m currently learning how to use Ableton and hope to have a grasp of that over the next six months before festival season begins. Seeing how many amazing underground producers there are in Canada has really given me a push to become one of them and not just DJ. I don’t think that DJ’s necessarily need to produce in order to find success in the commercial market, but it definitely gives an edge or advantage over those that don’t. It’s my long term goal to be able to put a track or two out on a compilation for a label that I love. I hope that goal isn't too far off!
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