Bass brings the sensuality to a piece of music, bringing the sound to other parts of your body while everything else keeps going on in your ears. When mastered in the way that Thundercat has it, with ingenious layers that slip over each other and interlock, leading you smoothly to the next level of each song, it sounds like pure music, as if every other sort of funk or electro jazz until now has been slightly offbeat or misjudged.
For this new ‘mini-album’, The Beyond/Where the Giants Roam, which was released yesterday, Thundercat has again collaborated with Flying Lotus, and it’s touching to hear how their friendship comes through in some of the tracks, particularly on « Lone Wolf and Cub« . This time Herbie Hancock had joined the fray, too – not an easy collaborator to get on board, although you can immediately hear why he was up for it.
There are also an appearance from saxophonist Kamasi Washington, and in his (unusual for him) twitter chat about the album, Thundercat says that when the solo comes in at the end of « Them Changes », it’s like « sticking the knife in and turning it a bit ».
There’s not that much available on Soundcloud – Flying Lotus’ label Brainfeeder, which has released the mini album, doesn’t seem to keen on freebies – but it’s available on all the streaming platforms etc. and you should take some time to listen to it if only to understand the connections between bass and the human voice and why this Thundercat fellow does it for us.
The album image doesn’t seem quite to absurd once you’ve listened to it:
Limonadier contributer and Thundercat fangirl Myrrha sent the below performance as a little Thundercat gift all wrapped up in video paper, she asked:
« How does one even… wear a wig, sing so perfectly, play like a funky deity on LSD, and laugh through it all? »
You can tweet your answers to Thundercat’s cat, Turbo Tron.
And while we’re on Turbo Tron, here’s a tip for one of the best ten minutes available to man and woman, preferably chilling out somewhere with a glass of something: try listening to Tron Song, the beautiful polyphony with tricky chromatic scales – only the best for a song written for your cat – just after you’ve listened to « Dyin’ to Live » by Outkast (from their 2006 Idlewild album). They sound so good together. Tron Song was written on the suggestion of Thundercat’s daughter about their cat, which is one of the tracks Flying Lotus has been most involved with. It’s catnip for the ears. For once, I’m not going to sign off with « cheers », but « purrrrr »….