Thundercat - The Golden Age of Apocalypse

As if three weeks of listening time weren't enough, I missed another chance to deliver a review on time. I'm sure you heard about this album by now, maybe even got yourself a copy. For those that didn't, here's one late review.

So the wait is over, the debut album from LA's Thundercat is finally available in stores worldwide. And all the praise it received beforehand is justified. For Brainfeeder it's the ultimate manifestation as a truly diverse label (and next up is Martyn!), one that brings different music to its audiences and embraces true musicianship. But let's start at the beginning.

You should have heard about Stephen Brunner's background by now: former member of Suicidal Tendencies, bassist for Erykah Badu and Sa-Ra Creative Partners (and that's not all.) He connects Flying Lotus, contributes to his last album Cosmogramma and in return the Brainfeeder head produces his album.

01. HooooooO
02. Daylight
03. Fleer Ultra
04. Is It Love? and l
05. For Love (I Come Your Friend)
06. It Really Doesn't Matter to You
07. Jamboree
08. Boat Cruise
09. Seasons
10. Goldenboy
11. Walkin'
12. Mystery Machine (The Golden Age of Apocalypse)
13. Return to the Journey

Cosmogramma was the first sign that Steven Ellison is interested in more than just making beats, he's a real producer with the understanding what an artist is looking for. The Golden Age of Apocalypse doesn't sound like anything you'd expect from Flying Lotus (but then who knows) and that's actually a good thing. Like others said before me, it sounds indeed more like Thundercat's hero George Duke, an organic sounding record with hypnotizing basslines and laidback grooves. The vocals reminded me of some of Donald Byrd's albums .So it's maybe no surprise you'll find the George Duke cover For Love (I Come Your Friend), a song with true sing-along qualities that will hopefully put the album on the radar of occasional listeners as well. The same could be said about Walkin', which suprised me at first with an disco beat that makes it stand out from the rest of the tracks. Despite only running for 37 minutes, the tracks blend nicely into each other and invite you to play this on repeat for a couple of days.

I spoke to several people about this album and interestingly we all agreed on its resemblance of some of IG Culture's music (New Sector Movements and Likwid Biskit), though Thundercat will hopefully gain a wider audience with this record. One last thought that didn't leave: imagine a collaboration of Thundercat and Kaidi Tatham, what brighter future could there be?

The Golden Age of Apocalypse is in stores since Monday, you can find it on CD, 2-LP and digital download. Try the Ninja Tune store, Bleep, iTunes or the source of your trust.

Published on September 04, 2011

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