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Bass prodigy Thundercat releases third solo album

Six-string fusion from beyond

Jackson Croy, Staff Photographer
Originally published October 30, 2015

Album: The Beyond/Where the Giants Roam

Artist: Thundercat

Score: ★ ★ ★ ★

Thundercat released a new “mini-LP” on Brainfeeder Records.

“The Beyond/Where the Giants Roam” is a psychedelic masterpiece, co-produced by Flying Lotus and featuring Kamasi Washington and Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, both of whom are frequent collaborators with the two.

As expected, the production on this album is hard to top. Flying Lotus and Bruner blend soul, jazz and hip hop in a catchy, abstract album. It’s super short—at just over 16 minutes it’s as captivating on the quick bus ride home as it is at 2 a.m. in a moment of spiritual enlightenment.

While the near-perfect production on this album is undeniable, Bruner’s vocals wear on the listener a little. He sings strictly in an airy, falsetto range. This is nice in small amounts, but could become a tad repetitive if the album were any longer.

However, the brevity of the album allows the mildly overused vocal tones to be overlooked. “The Beyond/Where the Giants Roam” almost has a singer-songwriter vibe to it, with its powerful balladic themes and unique personality that seems almost like it could be played at a coffee shop open mic. Bruner also plays both chords and lead lines on his six-string bass, even cranking it through a Moogerfooger synthesis pedal for further aural abstractions.

Notable Tracks

Them Changes (feat. Kamasi Washington) —

An Isley Brothers drum break, tri-tone wobble bass and psychedelic ballad lyrics tie together this masterpiece joint completely. Also worth checking out the epic music video.

Lone Wolf and Cub —

This track has so many beat changes it feels like at least three songs. Not only will it be stuck in your head for a week, it will leave you thinking about how it was made and how you’ll never be as good at music as Thundercat and Flying Lotus are.

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Bass prodigy Thundercat releases third solo album