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. Think of a Madlib-loving Plone or a more adorable version of either Flying Lotus or James Pants and you’re in the general vicinity, and then add hints of the quirky avant-garde (check “Nodlews Way Home” for some very Residents moments) and you’re very close. Vocal tracks bring in pop and rap elements with Beach Boys harmonies filling “Koi Moons Daughter,” while former Co-Deez member Otayo Dubb drives “Cyclic Love” home with some EPMD-like moves. All this genre-borrowing hangs together effortlessly with Jonti’s unique voice as its anchor, so let your laptop-hovering friends worry about the complex constructions while you enjoy Twirligig’s simple pleasures.
AllMusic Review by David Jeffries