Release Date: Oct 18, 2011
Record label: Stones Throw
Genre(s): Electronic, Rap, Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Electronic, Left-Field Hip-Hop
At the time of this debut release, multi-instrumentalist, producer, and vocalist Jonti was a bit of a mystery, the main bullet points being he once won a contest where a collaboration with Mark Ronson was the prize, he was the first Australian signed to the taste-making label Stones Throw, and that’s about it. It seemed like humility and maybe shyness rather than being obscure for obscurity’s sake, which is also the charm of Twirligig. This is a mysterious effort that could drive fellow producers crazy if they try to deconstruct it, although giving up the “How did he do it?” question is easy as the warm, fuzzy melodies take hold almost instantly.
The weird thing about early synthesized pop was that it made a quick, self-aware leap from signifying a shiny, electronic future to a sense of cheery, almost inane frothiness. Early Moog-tweaking musicians and engineers spent a lot of time figuring out how to electronically warp the work of baroque composers into ironic juxtapositions between tradition and technology, but eventually they had to come to terms with the fact that much of it still registered as grotesque distortions of nuanced melody. And for every musique concrète and BBC Radiophonic Workshop genius who turned those limitations into successfully arresting experiments, there was someone like Jean-Jacques Perrey who thrived on the potential of the equipment's inherent pop goofiness.
Twirligig. It could almost be the name of a character in Pokémon, couldn’t it? It’s cute-sounding: silly; sub-‘tween,’ if you like; ‘kiddie.’ It’s not often you can say that about an album title, least of all one that’s meant to be respectable. This is no surprise, of course. One of rock’s most consistent gestures over the years (and I mean rock here in the broadest and most irresponsible sense — from Elvis to electro) has been a ‘rebel misogyny’ of one formor another.