Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Thundercat - Drunk (Brainfeeder)


I feel weird. Comb your beard, brush your teeth. Still feel weird
Beat your meat, go to sleep.
I think I left my wallet at the club!!! Jesus, take the wheel!
- Thundercat - Captain Stupido

I could easily say that this album is perfect for falling in love, holding hands, watching sunsets, early mornings. Ideal for seasons changes when you throw your scarfs and heavy jackets, and start wearing lighter clothes... There is always "but"...


But it is so much more… It is personal musical confession of a man who is in love with music, his Ibanez six (or more strings) bass guitar, manga/anime connoisseur ("Gonna blow all my cash on anime, yes! Don't try to stop me 'cause i'm over 9000. Just point me to the pachinko machines. I think I'm Kenshiro, I think I'm Goku. Can I just stay one more day?" - Thundercat - Tokyo),
 plus long time friend and collaborator with Flying Lotus (Godfather), Daedelus (dandy technology freak who make his own synths and instruments), Gaslamp Killer (most blunted lover of psychedelic rock and jazz from all around the world, and hip hop academic) and one of masterminds behind Brainfeeder label/party/movement. 


Brainfeeder became collective of music open-mind 
 musicians and fans and who throw parties called Low End Theory, in the beginning with “open mic” concept, where anyone could make their (debut) before crowd. You could do anything, play anything, only if crowd respond to it.

And then, suddenly most celebrated artist Flying Lotus and his signing with Warp for an album Los Angeles, and his BBC Essential Mix - all happening in the same time, created such a buzz. That buzz turned the heads around the world, and suddenly whole music industry discovered small and dedicated scene full of artists – who didn’t give a… about fame. But they are here. The thing is that you can’t describe the sound of Brainfeeder, every musician/artist has his unique sound (and vision). Everybody went in their own musical wonderland. But they all worked with Stephen Bruner.

Steven Bruner aka Thundercat is the wunderkind, one of the kind, multi-instrumentalist, producer, singer, and bass player – but what a bass player. Before Drunk he already have three releases under his moniker. Also add to his CV playing with Suicidal Tendencies, actually their three albums, how about that!?  In musicologist-serious-music-journalist-wannabe words: imagine Miles Davis from On the Corner phase, with Steve Wonder's Songs in the Key of Life, meets Madlib 
and J Dilla, and add little bit of dreamy Californian psychedelia. He even sings: "Everybody wants to be a cat. It's cool to be a cat. Everything the light touches, it's where I will roar. My roar would be so powerful. I would scare off everything!" 

Bruner with such easiness combines free/spiritual jazz with pop and hip-hop. He is so sonic healthy, like an onion. Every time when I listen to Drunk, I find a new layer - that can be one second of the beat, new sound that wasn't there before or some chord changes, or new instrument in the background, or even some new meaning to the lyrics. Oh and his lyrics... he is such amazing poet. He touch things like negative sides of social media, how literally change our moods: "From the minute I wake up I'm starring at the screen, watching the world go insane. Gotta stay connected so I know what's happening, in these streets. Thank God for technology 'cause where would be if we couldn't tweet our thoughts? Won't you leave some things to mystery?", or consumerism and conformism ("You are so drunk, you miss it all, yay. Just make sure you have the right Jordans on, or be left behind to rot and die. Face down the gutter
"), of course the climate change and environmentalism: "Oh 'cause look at the mess we've made. Who's gonna clean it up? Oh my God, where's Captain Planet?") Also want to mention song about finding Knowledge with capitol K, named Blakkk with lyrics combining with instrumental and voice that send chills through my spine: "...Take me to the highest mountain and the lowest seas...I want to experience all the light has to offer me... Bathing in your glow. Patterns in the light! Pressing your frontiers! Totally reborn!!!"

Ok for the great balance early mentioned educational and self-consciousness and world awareness there are pretty nice relaxed tracks like Tokyo (about that megalopolis), Friend Zone (we all been there hahaha), or slow-chill-man-dude-take that-drink-and-hug-your-love-one Show You the Way.

My significant other (Irena, I washed the dishes and made the lunch for you, before I started to make this review - true story) asked me, would you ever write review about some album that you didn't like, maybe to show people that there is so much hype about certain artist(s) but their last album was shit. Well honey I will. But first I must tell the World about this beauty on wax. Music is great, remember I said it is for both worlds: serious music lovers who want something special, and those who don't care what they're listening, or they just turn their top 40 radio station (you know those people, they are your family, friends, co-workers and passers-by on the street).
Yes, it went in shops in February, like a perfect background music for May and April, but for me, like Drunk's predecessor 
The Beyond / Where the Giants Roam EP, it will stay in my heart and soul for-ever. A spaceship to planet called Drunk.
Now I must choose words wisely cause, I glorify this album all the way: cause it's bare emotion, and you can't escape it's easiness and then discover it's depth - just as you can't escape first beam of Sun when you open your eyes in the morning... or afternoon, depends on your style of life. Even in night you will catch the glimpse of light beam from planet Drunk


Damir Plićanić

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