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2011/09/08 / monteurhulot

ALBUM // Jonti – Twirligig

If there’s one album that I won’t shut up about, it’s Ambivalence Avenue (2009) in which Bibio played both Brit-Folk troubadour and Dilla-acolyte, coating the result in a delicate private-pressing haze, a combination that makes me swoon to this day.

Twirligig conjures a similar vibe, although its attention is even more scattered (most tracks coming in at well under 3 minutes, often with major shifts within even that time) and it draws from a more far-flung array of musical elements. While much of it fits well with other Stones Throw material, from the Madvillainy “Cyclic Love” to the impossibly round and warm synth-funk on opener “Hornets Nest”

the album would seem even more at home on Stones Throw’s Now-Again reissue arm, as though it was a boomerang sent back across decades, picking up against psychedelic rock, lo-fi funk, early electronic experiments and all sorts of other  and weird miscellany, coming back to 2011 to be released, it’s core of lush Free Design-style studio sunshine pop surrounded by a time-melting hip-hop aesthetic.

To my ears, Twirligig has its greatest success in its last stretch, beginning with the Since I Left You exotica of “Batmilk,” which floats into the title track, the sole place Jonti hints at his South African background, as theremin mewls play above a rhythm section that sounds like Mbaqanga heard distantly through a window, half-asleep, before the entire affair is swept away by oversaturated organ, “Begone Slumber” pairs click-hop with what could be one of the most gorgeous psych-rock guitar chords ever recorded; the drums on “Frightened Mice” invoke a Moondog album produced by Pierre Henry while Jonti lays down more crunchy guitars to accompany his cooing; “Snickers Hiss” is the sound of dubbing Here Come The Warm Jets  on to a tape of the first Suicide album, “Solar Smoking Dogs (Lucia)” bringing in wooden percussion that “P√°ssaros” then ushers out with some (of course) mbira.

…what I’m trying to say is that it sounds real nice, an album as pretty as it is omnivorous and hyperactive.

Twirligig can be purchased from Stones Throw in MP3 format, and is to have a physical release on October 18th.


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