- Audio CD (29 Aug. 2011)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: CD
- Label: Brainfeeder
- ASIN: B0058IA7ZM
- Other Editions: Audio CD | Vinyl | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,764 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
The Golden Age Of Apocalypse CD
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The Golden Age of Apocalypse
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Thundercat is bass-playing Los Angeles native Stephen Brunner. If the name's unfamiliar, know that he's played bass for Suicidal Tendencies, Sa-Ra Creative Partners and latterly Flying Lotus (on Cosmogramma). In return, FlyLo is on production duty for The Golden Age of Apocalypse, Brunner's solo debut under this moniker. In addition to Sa-Ra staff, the album features guest luminaries including Erykah Badu, J*DaVeY and Brunner's drummer brother Ronald Jr. Entering Thundercat's world may make you believe the last 30 years didn't happen. Think Roy Ayers, George Duke and Billy Cobham - back we travel. And forwards, too, swathed all the while in pure analogue loveliness.
The record - and it really should be a record, in a big gatefold sleeve - opens in Technicolor cinematic mode. You can almost see the flashing disco lights and dry ice blowing voluminously across the stage: that's Hoooooooo, complete with its seven 'o's. Any fewer would be a crime. The next track, Daylight, is almost impossibly fat and fiddly, a dense slab of sped-up ultra-jazz funkiness cooked up deliberately, surely, to make listeners' heads spin. Song number four asks Is It Love? It's a little early to tell, a question best asked towards the end of the album, but there's certainly a strong attraction in the air. Whatever, it features an impossibly fly bass solo.
No moment is quite like the last. Before the listener knows it, Thundercat deposits them into soft clouds of Fender magnificence, tickles heels with indulgent guitar and soothes brows with an angelic choir or two. The syncopated shuffle of drums on It Really Doesn't Matter to You gets married to blissful harmonies, which in turn are wed to marshmallow synths.
Just close your eyes and picture the cover of Herbie Hancock's 1974 LP Thrust, albeit with Brunner at the controls, and follow his trajectory as he flies that synthesizer spaceship over purple Mayan ruins. Don't worry, you know he'll land safely - but only after you've had a lot of fun along the way. The Golden Age of Apocalypse seems specially made for a long, hot, daydream-filled summer. Here's hoping.
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Top customer reviews
The City Of Angels, turns a mean trick here under his Thundercat alias.
With shades of Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock at their mercurial
finest Mr Brunner creates a classy, sassy and jazzy treat across these
13 (actually 12ish, given the ephemeral nature of the brief introductory
jingle 'HooooooO') wildly inventive tracks. It's a treat from top to tail.
Production by FlyLo keeps things bright and breezy; a lucid, luminous
quality pervades the whole project. Pure sunshine captured in a can!
The vocal harmonies (Mr Brunner has a fine voice which sounds perfectly
at home at the upper end of the stave) are juicy; the percussion crisp
and dry; the keyboards and brass by-turns lush and punchy and the bass
guitar playing nothing short of prodigious (listen to sparks fly skyward in the
stunning arrangement 'Is It Love'; the notes fly off the fretboard ten-to-
the-dozen - not since listening to the great Jaco Pastorious have I found
myself so entranced - Mr Brunner is a true master of his instrumental craft!
Above all else this is happy music; an album to induce grins of Cheshire
Cat magnitude! Even when the lights are lowered and the mood softens,
as in the truly beautiful lilting Latin invention 'Seasons', there is still
a soft and glowing golden light pulsing away deep in the heart of the mix.
'Boat Cruise' is another cracker! Despite its relative rhythmic complexity
the string synth and wordless vocals soften the edges to instil a dream-
like ambience which any sleeper would not wish to awake from too quickly.
'Walkin'', on the other hand, coming in to land at just over two minutes,
is a delightfully accessible little song which teases as much as it pleases!
The angular and more abstract composition 'Mystery Machine (The Golden Age
Of Apocalypse' comes as close to gravitas as Mr Brunner seems able to muster
and final track 'Return To The Journey' brings the project to an enigmatic close.
So much to savour; so much to enjoy! An album to ease us gently into Autumn.
Add to this the lo-fi sensibilities of Shuggie Otis from 1971 and a touch of Jaco Pastorious vintage Weather Report and you've got Thundercat nailed. Almost. These influences are significant but he shoots off in so many other jazzy, soulful and funky directions too. So, in a nutshell not new music but brilliantly reinterpreted variations of classics from George Duke plus Thundercat's own spiralling ideas which bounce off these sonics. Recommended.