Since the release of Flying Lotus‘ ‘You’re Dead‘, I’ve been keeping my eyes and ears out for the man behind some of the trippiest basslines I’ve heard in recent time. He released his debut album ‘The Golden Age of Apocalypse‘ in 2011, under FlyLo’s Brainfeeder label.
Since then, he’s gone on to work with a stunning range of producers and other vocalists; from Herbie Hancock, George Clinton and Erykah Badu.
On his latest LP and follow up to his insanely psychedelic 2015 EP ‘The Beyond / Where the Giants Roam‘, we see a complete development on Thundercats’ writing and compositions. While the album is at 23 tracks deep, it only clocks in at just under an hour.
All the songs on the album have elements of Hip-Hop, smooth R&B, melodic Jazz instrumentals and Psychedelic Rock. However, while the instrumentals on this album are an obvious go-to, Thundercats’ vocals on here are impressive. They play more of a role on the tracks here than his previous releases.
Songs such as “Captain Stupido” is one of the first that stood out to me. Not only for the quick-paced, weird basslines, as expected, but also the snap of the snare and whirling ad-libs throughout. While the lyrics aren’t anything amazing, they are funny and are a clear representation of how he interprets his sound.
The cool and summer-night track, “Lava Lamp” is another solo track on the album that shines too me. With glossy synths, a slow bass and spacey vocals from Thundercat. Even the insertion of the short guitar strings and quiet keys add a sense of sweet ambience to the track.
Even some of the more radio-friendly tracks are impressive. “Jethro”, for example, is one of those. It has Pop-like synths and slow and easy vibe to it. All the different sound effects, like the clashing of pot pans as drums add to the art that make Thundercat as individual as he sounds.
The Kendrick Lamar featured “Walk On By” is probably the best Thundercat x feature on the album. Thundercats’ vocals are airy as he harmonises over the smooth instrumental. Obviously, the second Kendrick takes the centre stage, it comes his.
In overall, the album is fantastic. I feel like I’m sitting in a car with all the windows rolled up, Thundercat is sitting in the passenger seat, with his bass on his lap, continuously playing and smoking a joint and directing me somewhere only my ears and mind could take me.