12 Songs, 39 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The 2013 sophomore album by bass guitar virtuoso Stephen Bruner (A.K.A. Thundercat) is remarkably ahead of his already-impressive 2011 debut LP The Golden Age of Apocalypse. Having lent his magic-fingered skills to everyone from Erykah Badu to Suicidal Tendencies, it’s interesting to hear what he has cultured and crafted for his own album. Over retro-modern analogue blips and bleeps that recall vintage Sun Ra recordings, Bruner croons through murky fidelity that recalls Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti. Throughout the opening song, his bass pulses with a less-is-more foundation of pedaling rhythms. But this allows plenty of room for Bruner to overlap dense layers of progressive playing on other instruments. The following “Heartbreaks + Setbacks” pushes the advanced musicianship to the side, encouraging barbed melodies and a robust rhythmic groove to take center stage. On “Tron Song,” he deviates from the indie-infused R&B to bestow an astral folk tune trimmed with spacey filigree; it’s sure to hit home with anyone into Terry Callier’s 1972 opus What Color Is Love.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The 2013 sophomore album by bass guitar virtuoso Stephen Bruner (A.K.A. Thundercat) is remarkably ahead of his already-impressive 2011 debut LP The Golden Age of Apocalypse. Having lent his magic-fingered skills to everyone from Erykah Badu to Suicidal Tendencies, it’s interesting to hear what he has cultured and crafted for his own album. Over retro-modern analogue blips and bleeps that recall vintage Sun Ra recordings, Bruner croons through murky fidelity that recalls Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti. Throughout the opening song, his bass pulses with a less-is-more foundation of pedaling rhythms. But this allows plenty of room for Bruner to overlap dense layers of progressive playing on other instruments. The following “Heartbreaks + Setbacks” pushes the advanced musicianship to the side, encouraging barbed melodies and a robust rhythmic groove to take center stage. On “Tron Song,” he deviates from the indie-infused R&B to bestow an astral folk tune trimmed with spacey filigree; it’s sure to hit home with anyone into Terry Callier’s 1972 opus What Color Is Love.

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