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April: 18 albums you need to hear this month

Thundercat, Talaboman, Kingdom and more

  • Mixmag Staff
  • 31 March 2017
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Thundercat 'Drunk' (Brainfeeder)

Wolfskin-wearing, six string-bass-bothering Los Angeleno Stephen Bruner has played with everyone from thrash metallers Suicidal Tendencies to Kendrick Lamar, George Clinton and (most consistently) Flying Lotus. His own solo work is as unpredictable as that list of collaborators suggests, full of jazz, fruitloop electronics, soft rock and funk. His last lengthy LP, 2013’s ‘Apocalypse’, was surprisingly accessible (follow-up ‘The Beyond/The Giants Roam’ was released in 2015, but was only 16-minutes long), but here, he’s gone all-in on freaky psychedelic soul. Despite the presence of multiple high-profile guests (Pharrell, Kendrick, Wiz Khalifa, Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins), it’s all woozy atmospheres, unsettling lyrics, some actual miaowing and quick shifts from floaty ambience to zip-zap-pow playing. It’s funny, charming and strange – but just as often as it weirds you out, it brings you back in. There’s head-melting brilliance here, but he makes you work for it. Joe Muggs

7/10

 
 
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