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boardwalk

Dreamy pop music always has a place in the summer months and there’s an early frontrunner for king of the beach. Los Angeles duo Boardwalk built their own equipment, have already been signed by Stones Throw (who appear to be less and less interested in hip hop every day) and just released their first single on flexidisc. I’m sure you can infer something from that by reading Simon Reynolds’ Retromania, but I prefer to just take it as is. Later this summer, the duo will release their debut full length so you’ll just have to bathe in the false reality nostalgia established by “I’m To Blame” until then.

Back in February, we expressed our anticipation for Geoff Barrow‘s upcoming hip-hop album (in collaboration with over 35 other artists), under the moniker Quakers, which is due out on Stones Throw on March 27th. Today, you can listen to a new track off the album; this one is called “Smoke,” and it features one of our favorites here at the Astral Plane, none other than Jonwayne himself. Stream “Smoke” right here:

 

And here’s “Fitta Happier,”featuring Guilty Simpson and M.E.D., another single off the album, which was released last month:

With a few exceptions radio has devolved into a mess of electro-driven pop tunes being played 10,000 times a day. There are very few radio stations (KEXP in Seattle is one of them) today that play more than a dozen or so mind numbing songs, and large internet radio platforms like Pandora and Spotify that put the onus on the listener to find find quality music are becoming increasingly popular. The internet is obviously the present and future of music, but there is still room for DJ driven content on the radio, especially on the internet. Los Angeles’s dublab is an incredible non-profit radio station that also dabbles in film, art exhibitions and event production. The station has welcomed Flying Lotus, Dntel, and Daedelus into the booth and continues to feature forward thinking artists of all colors. It is no surprise that such a unique radio station would collaborate with one of LA’s most forward thinking record labels, the venerable Stones Throw.

Yesterday, dublab and Stones Throw debuted the “Sounds of Symmetry 7″ Volume 1″ featuring a James Pants original remixed by Daedelus and a Daedelus original remixed by James Pants are incredible and highlight two of the brightest talents in the Los Angeles electronic/hip hop scenes. Buy the 7″ on the Stones Throw website and stream the tracks at the dublab website.

In the year 2012, it is apparent that most record labels have, are in the process of, or will change their business models to stay competitive in the internet era. 360 deals, social media campaigns, and other non-traditional methods have become the norm and real artistic value has by and large fallen by the wayside. Independent record labels have been hit especially hard and have been force to slash budgets, retain less artists, and produce less music than ever before. One label though, has managed to stay above the fray. Stones Throw Records, headed by Peanut Butter Wolf, celebrated their 15th anniversary on December 22, and have continued to put out quality records. Some of my favorite albums of all time, MadvillainyDonuts and Champion Sound, were released on Stones Throw and the label has maintained a venerable and diverse roster to this day, including Aloe Blacc, Dam-FunkGuilty Simpson, Mayor Hawthorne, and the man I’m featuring today, Jonti.

Like many other Stones Throw artists, Jonti does a little bit of everything. He sings, plays multiple instruments, and produces all of his music. The Sydney native makes playful, yet complex, genre-bending tunes, and has worked with Mark Ronson, Santigold and Jonwayne. Jonti’s first album, Twirligig, combines the classic dusty vinyl feel of most Stones Throw releases with vibrant arrangements and scattered vocals. The album is far from perfect, coming off as scattered at times, but showcases the diversity of Jonti’s influences, and his pure musical talent. I personally overlooked Jonti until I saw him open for Gold Panda at the Echoplex in October. Manning numerous instruments, Jonti improvised much of his material into fun, dancey beats in a short, but sweet set.

A few months ago, Jonti created the “Sine & Moon” mix for the Stones Throw Podcast on his 4-track. Today, Stones Throw is releasing the individual tracks in the podcast as the Sine & Moon album. Like his previous efforts, Sine & Moon, is far from cohesive, but offers a more laid back, less hectic version of Jonti. Whether he’s playing the role of hip hop producer (“Red On Green”), singer-songwriter (“Saturday Night Songs”), or striving for a Madlib-esque sound (“Young Wildebeest”), the young Aussie impresses and has produced another impressive release. Furthermore, Stones Throw has posted the album as a free download, and Jonti’s next album, Tokorats, is set for a first quarter release.

Download: Jonti – Sine & Moons

Download: Jonti and Jonwaye – “Uh Oh” (Save As)

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