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, Madvillainy, Donuts 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-Funk, Guilty 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)