27 Jul 2021

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TOI - T.O.I EP Review

03 Sep 2014 // A review by Joel C Blood

First up, I have to make this clear, Tunes of I are one of my favorite Kiwi bands cracking it at the moment. This review is going to slightly bias. But my bias comes with good reason and I am not easily impressed.

I was first introduced to Tunes last August when Ghetto Sunrise had the fortunate experience of playing with them at San Fran. I was blown away with the lax yet professional stylings of a band playing grooves beyond their years. That and they were really chilled, friendly dudes that encompassed the positively Wellington vibe without the gimmick.

I didn't get a press release with this record (note for the future boys package it up with your download), but as I understand it T.O.I was tracked by Charlie Bronson and Adam Ladley, mixed by the mighty Lee Prebble and mastered by dial guru, Mike Gibson. This stella team have done a brilliant job of bringing out the bands polished organic flavor. Hats off to the production team.

The first tune, Blue Sunrise, reminds me of Killervision. It's got the quintessential kiwiana rolling dub groove with a tight, thick arrangement. Track two, Gold, effortlessly blends "loungey" drum n bass with smatterings of rock vocals and that familiar TOI jank. Solar Rays is the third track and is swimming in jazzy horns reminiscent of Freddy's. Frequency has a hypnotic build up into one of the most tasteful jaz gat solo's I have heard on a contemporary kiwi record recently. The fifth tune, Ice Cream, takes us back to the mid nineties with another irie Sally dub stylized tune.  This is an accomplished work embodying many facets of what we love about kiwi dub.

It is almost incomprehensible that this is the bands first official EP release. It encompasses everything great about the Wellington Dub and Jazz scene, and I don't say this lightly as I have heard some pretty over cooked, pretentious shit come out of Wellington on the heels of Fat Freddy's Drop, The Black Seeds and other's successes. I expect huge things from these guys in the future. 5 stars. Hands down T.O.I is my EP of the month. Can't wait for a full album from these dub- maniacs.



About TOI

Born out of the famed New Zealand School of Music in 2011, the then three piece band has spent the last six years expanding their repertoire (and members) into a full seven piece ensemble. Featuring a solid backbone of drums, bass, vocals and guitars, and complemented by some of Wellington's finest horn players, TOI (Tunes of I) - is renowned around the country for their original, tight and refreshingly dynamic live performances.

Having recently celebrated six years as a band, TOI have been working hard to cement their place in the New Zealand music scene. Most notably, the past few years has seen the award-winning band advance in leaps and bounds from their humble beginnings. In 2014 they were recipients of funding from theaudience.co.nz, resulting in their music video Give In, which enjoyed more than six weeks on rotation on Edge TV. They then pursued more than 25 shows around the country in summer 2014/15, rivaled only by a tour of slightly more magnitude the following summer, which celebrated the release of their debut album Restless at the end of 2015.

Restless - the result of a Kickstarter campaign which raised more than $13 000 - was recorded in Surgery Studios by Lee Prebble, mastered by Mike Gibson of Munki Studios, and produced by Barnaby Weir of The Black Seeds and Fly My Pretties. Its release at the end of 2015 was celebrated with performances at Rhythm & Vines and Soundsplash, plus more than 25 shows around the country as support and headlining acts alike.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for TOI


Year: 2021
Type: EP
Wicked Ways
Year: 2017
Type: EP
Year: 2015
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
Year: 2014
Type: EP

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When I received this record I had no idea what to expect. The press information describes the sound as a cathartic experience founded on cinematic arrangements wrapped around the lead singer, Sarah Macombee's, exquisite voice, so it all sounded fairly self indulgent.
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This 5 track EP has been probably my most highly anticipated NZ release this year and it doesn't disappoint. This is everything that you would expect from this collaboration, the soulful wailing of P-Digsss and melodic lusciousness of Shapeshifter mashed together with the unforgiving, beat driven groove of The Upbeats.
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