Since producer Chris "Peanut Butter Wolf" Manak founded Stones Throw Records in 1996, the label has delighted in confounding a rabid fan base that often scoops up anything Stones Throw-related, from pricy limited-edition Madlib vinyl to Quasimoto and Madvillain toys and skate decks. Rap music remains its bread and butter: this year alone has brought albums from Los Angeles street rap crew Strong Arm Steady (Stereotype), bookish New York wordsmith Homeboy Sandman (First of a Living Breed) and Detroit drummer/producer Karriem Riggins (Alone Together). Yet the label often prides itself on embracing iconoclasts. There are The Stepkids, whose self-titled debut sounds like a mash of Funkadelic circa Maggot Brain and Iggy and The Stooges. There is Jonwayne, whose Oodles of Doodles is exactly that—minute-long beats that sound like doodles and wiggle into your memory. Chrome Canyon's Elemental Themes evokes the synthesized soundtracks of Tangerine Dream and Giorgio Moroder. And Jonti escapes classification by mixing hip-hop beats, synth melodies and dreamy vocals into an electropop explosion. The best way to process Stones Throw's new world of sound is to leave your expectations at the door. Visit Google Play now to score free tracks and hear awesome Stones Throw albums. – Mosi Reeves, Google Play
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