I'd heard a lot about Jonti before I actually heard his stuff. This is a guy who has already worked with some of the biggest names in the industry (Mark Ronson, Santogold, and Sean Lennon, just to name a few). Needless to say I was excited to finally get my hands on the new album Twirligig. The name excited me. It sounded unique. An obscure mash-up of syllables. Intrigue.
The thing that hits hardest on first listen is the intricate way Jonti's razor sharp beats characterise each track, and dance under the canopy of his distant Brian Wilson-esque vocals. Listeners should also expect to encounter some tight synthy hooks and a wide range of schizophrenic percussive sounds, tweaks, clicks... or twirligigs. The production is incredible (oh, did I mention he did it all himself?) and the arrangements are crafted really nicely. Unlike a lot of the dreamy chillwave sounds being produced at the moment, these tunes aren't drowned in reverb or oversaturated in side-chain compression. This is intentional stuff. Jonti wants you to hear it.
In this current musical climate, many artists are creating music that caters to the short attention spans of listeners. Thankfully, Jonti is not one of them. It is a big ask to make a 14-track album (with very few words) that sustains the listener's interest. However, I found that this collection of songs works best if you experience it as a whole. Each track alone is gratifying and will stimulate your interest, but I found it was in the long listening sessions that each track made more sense within the context of the others.
Have a listen to the killer opening track "Hornet's Nest" and see if it's your kinda thing...