In Review: Stones Throw Soul

Tyler Chiu  ’20

Situated in a warehouse on the outskirts of the fashion district is Stones Throw Soul- a night filled with music from the LA based, indie record label’s most forward thinking artists.  While all the artists are signed under the same record label, the line up features a wide variety of artists like Kiefer, MNDSGN, Jerry Paper, and Sudan Archives (a recent Royce Hall performer). With such a distinct and diverse lineup, each artist added their own interpretation of the sounds that reflect LA.

Kiefer, a UCLA Jazz Studies alumni, tastefully blends motivic, improvised lines on the piano and odd metered grooves with his warm and signature lo-fi sound, such as in “Most Beautiful Girl” from his debut album for Stones Throw. Kiefer also wasn’t afraid to demonstrate his virtuosity on the piano with unaccompanied cadenzas that highlight the rich harmonies that set him a part from other artists whom also seek to create music for the body and soul.

MNDSGN, another artist representative of Los Angeles’s left field hip hop scene who paid a visit to UCLA last May with his performance for The Paper Mixtape’s Issue 7 release party, set a scene that reflected the diverse audience with his juxtaposition of psychedelic textures and soulful grooves.

Jerry Paper, an enigmatic yet awkward fella, provided a purposeful contrast to the R&B sounds that dominate the Stones Throw catalog with his analog synth sounds, speaking to an innate presence found in all of us.  Paper’s background as a New School alumni who studied the philosophy of religion and sociology of music provided a different approach to capturing the audience’s body, heart, and mind through the same frameworks and emotional context that developed into today’s R&B genre, while lying on the opposite end of the spectrum for the majority of Stones Throw’s soul-based artists.