Caught these guys last week playing a show with one of my favorite discoveries of this year, Jonti. I had scoped them out beforehand just to see what was up, and what I heard sounded pretty tight – it was on the experimental end of that spacey, lopsided, wonky tip that so many folks are onto these days.

Suffice it to say, I was completely unprepared for what these guys were going to do live. According to their bio, Sonnymoon is a duo, consisting of multi-instrumentalist and beat programmer Dane and vocalist Anna Wise, but live, they brought a full band and the experience was simply revelatory. Wise’s presence was something to behold: She looked like a runaway high on some exotic concoction of mind altering substances, but sang like she was channeling something from beyond.

The first song they played left us literally speechless – reduced to gesturing and making faces at each other.

This was some kind of freaky new-age digital psychedelia: part Flying Lotus, part 1969-era Jefferson Airplane, and part some other shit I never heard before. For almost an hour these guys took us on a journey (cliché I know, but that’s really what it was) deep into their utterly strange yet charming world where warped pop, met lopsided hip-hop and twitchy electronics (courtesy of a cornucopia of various gear, on par w/ a Mum or Animal Collective set up). The whole thing was wrapped in fog of surreal atmospherics and finished off with heaping load of sub bass.

While there is nothing wrong with the band’s studio recordings, they don’t yet match the intensity of the live experience.

These guys should be on the festival circuit very soon, and you owe it to yourself to go and check them out.

Here is a nice lickle mix Dane threw together to occasion the band’s West Coast mini tour:

1. Jonti – Sugar High from Sine & Moon (The Album) LP
2. Knxwledge – WTD[wrk] from klarity.EP
3. devonwho – Cactus from Strangebrew 12″
4. Mndsgn – 43rd from ObliqueKitchn LP
5. Knxwledge – Knxbodi from klarity.EP
6. B.Lewis – World Frozen Over
7. Sonnymoon – Wild Rumpus from Sonnymoon LP
8. Jonti – Moon Goddess (interlude) from Sine & Moon (The Album) LP
9. Mndsgn – PMG from ObliqueKitchn LP
10. devonwho – Strangebrew from Strangebrew 12″
11. M. Constant – Chew-Z from Bugged EP
12. Jonti – Koi Moon’s Daughter Pt II from Sine & Moon (The Album) LP
13. Sonnymoon – ∞ from Sonnymoon LP

Here’s a video for “Universal Appeal” from the new album (careful, it’s 9 mins long and goes way the fuck out there):

And here’s an older vid I found:

DecibelCast Vol. 4 – “Sprung Again”

This ended up taking so much longer than originally planned. I began this year listening almost exclusively to music from the ’70s – mostly funk, soul, reggae and salsa… and yeah a bit disco as well – and so I thought it might be nice to put together a little mix of the vintage funk and soul music I had been so enjoying: That was all.

Unfortunately it ended up being a much more arduous process, which entailed yours truly completely losing the plot several times. Getting side-tracked, and moving away from the purely soul theme, I briefly entertained the idea of a multi-era, multi-genre West Coast mix. That ultimately didn’t end up happening either. Around this time, I got busy with other things and came close to deciding to just scrap the project entirely. It seems somewhere along the way I forgot the whole point, which was to make a compilation of smoothed-out jams to commemorate the spring. And so, with this mix comprising mostly vintage funk and soul tunes from mostly California artists, hopefully I’ve achieved just that.

[db-04] Sprung Again

Download the ZIP

                             . . .


Roy Ayers – “Everybody Loves the Sunshine”

Blue & Exile – “Good Morning Neighbor”

The Freestyle Fellowship – “Sunshine Men”

Brother Jack McDuff – “Your Smile”

Charles Wright & The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band – “I Got Love”

Cortex – “Prelude a Go Round”

Nicola Conte – “Seasons”

Booker T. Jones – “Progress” feat. Jim James

Maze – “While I’m Alone”

Mayer Hawthorne – “Dreaming”

Bullion – “Time for Us All to Love”

Arthur Verocai – “Dedicada a ela”

Quasimoto – “Seasons Change”

The Natural Four – “You Can Always Count on Me”

Funk Factory – “Rien Ne Va Plus”

John Holt – “Got My Head on Straight”

Leon Ware – “Why I Came to California”

Lee Fields & the Expressions – “Expressions Theme”

Jonti – “Batmilk”

Curtis Mayfield – “Trippin”

The Natural Four – “Why Should We Stop Now?”

Jonti – “Sine & Moon (The Album)”

This South African-born, Australian-based singer and multi-instrumentalist, whose debut album Twirligig was criminally omitted from a certain blogger(*ahem*)’s favorite albums of 2011 list, has a unique sound that is really difficult to pigeonhole. It’s “pop music” (to use the term very loosely), which manages to be as daring as it is delightfully idiosyncratic.  

“Lost Machines”
(taken from the album)

The songs that comprise Sign & Moon originally appeared as an installment of Stones Throw’s  venerable podcast series, but they are now being offered separately as a proper album.

It’s a bizarre, though thoroughly satisfying, offering characterized by Beach Boy-style vocals, and various influences as disparate as disco, hip-hop, ’60s garage rock, glitchy electronica and jazz-fusion. This is astral, psychedelic lounge music for the new year, and, quite simply, it kicks ass.

Or to put it another way: I would gladly pay good money for music of this caliber, but I can get it for free… and so can you.

DOWNLOAD: Jonti – “Sine & Moon”


Check this video for “Firework Spraying Moon from last year’s  Twirligig, which is out now on Stones Throw Records)

The Stepkids – “Suburban Dream” official video

“Suburban Dream is the latest jam from The Stepkids to get the video treatment. The trio of songwriters make awesomely weird vintage, psychedelic soul, and their videos thus far have been nothing if not entertaining (you can view the first 3 here).

Also, be sure to grab this brand new track (“fresh from the lab”) they did with fellow Stones Throw signee Jonti.

Jonti feat. The Stepkids & Illa J“The Days Have Turned” mp3