Thundercat ThundercatThe Golden Age Of Apocalypse
Brainfeeder's turn to jazz is a fact. By now it's pretty clear Flying Lotus wants to transcend the ashes of a scene he helped build himself (and others have blown to pieces); to reinvent the sound of a roster that is facing adulthood with intelligence. While the world is being flooded with infinite numbers of cloners of the Dilla sound, FlyLo draws from the music running through his veins (Coltrane, etc) and changes - with smooth movements - the course of his label, moving away from the future urban spirit in order to explore the possibilities of a sound Thundercat has masterfully interpreted.
While not too long ago, Austin Peralta was giving a piano recital on what seemed to be Brainfeeder's most orthodox step towards jazz - now we have in our hands the absolute crystallisation of that tendency; in the scaly, playful and summery score of a very serious record that will please both electronica lovers and jazz purists. Dyed in the wool of hard-core band Suicidal Tendencies - of which he still is a member - Stephen Bruner and his bass guitar are much in demand by the likes of Snoop Dogg and Eric Benet, among others, for their live shows. In fact, FlyLo and our hero met for the “Cosmogramma” sessions; something that ended up in the release of this album, which will save more than one summer out there.
“The Golden Age of Apocalypse” is pure instrumental craftsmanship, a refreshing splash of latest generation, retro-futurist space jazz. Sixties choruses and party rhythms (the exciting “Seasons”) stand along the rhythmic puzzles and Lotus-like moods – this is Brainfeeder's own electronic Jaco Pastorius. Of course, the album is a trip - a concert, and everything: if taken as merely entertainment, it won't be done justice. In a 100% Los Angeles context, Thundercat exhibits his digital skills on passages smelling of after-sun cream, positive vibes and a nervous spiritual peace (the beach-like “Boat Cruise” is ideal for a short holiday in Weedland). Radiant cuts of psychedelic electro-funk like “Walkin’” and the playful “Daylight” are the perfect soundtrack for some serious beach hanging.
Furthermore, Bruner's vocal contributions perfectly fit the mood of the warm and measured electro-jazz of the album. Waves of Californian vocals, ingenious melodies and semi-falsettos (as if Brian Wilson had recorded a funk album with Squarepusher) are everywhere, filtering between microscopic slaps, nervous breaks and summery keyboards. The participation of members of SA-RA Creative Partners, Austin Peralta, Thundercat's brother, drummer Ronald Bruner and Erikah Badu adds some more virtuosity to a musical kaleidoscope that - with all its summery vibes and cosmic grooves - is intoxicating. With the approval of Samiyam and Matthewdavid, this is one of Brainfeeder's best albums of the year: available on a sunny beach near you.