8: Thundercat - The Golden age of apocalypse
I was first introduced to this guy on my favourite album of last year: ‘Cosmogramma’ by Flying Lotus, where the LA producer employed a lot more use of live instrumentation. This approach translated into his live show ‘infinity’ where Flying lotus played with a live harpist, violinist, saxophone player and of course Thundercat on the bass guitar. I was transfixed, watching this guy play the bass like it was just another part of his body, sounding like he’s going nuts but in reality is taking it easy. His album (produced, excitingly, by Flylo) captures something in this playing that I rarely see in new music - the perfect union of incredible skill and pure innovation. ‘Golden age’ is incredibly innovative, referencing the retro finesse of 70s jazz music but placing it in such a contemporary context that sounds almost like space. Hard to imagine, I know, but that’s what makes this album so fresh sounding, as it manages to make someone’s highly disciplined skill of playing an instrument actually sound like fun.