When you’re as gifted as Stephen Bruner (better known as Thundercat), creating multiple masterpieces in a short timeframe is business as usual. After impressive album contributions for the likes of Flying Lotus, Kamasi Washington and Kendrick Lamar, the multi-talented musician shifted his focus inward and delivered The Beyond/Where The Giants Roam.
With help from an impressive network of friends (Kamasi, Flying Lotus, Herbie Hancock, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson and Mono/Poly), Thundercat manages to deliver a substantial listening experience in a short amount of time. Fusing elements of jazz, soul and funk, the EP unfolds like a musical road map to guide us through his contemplative journey, making stops along the way to delve into themes of love (“Them Changes”), mortality (“Hard Times,” “Where the Giants Roam”) and philosophy (“Song for the Dead”). From the lengthy “Lone Wolf and Cub” to the succinct “That Moment,” his fragile falsetto is captivating and his bass skills are unquestionable, with each track distinctly highlighting the instrument’s versatility. Though it is still in heavy rotation on our playlists, we’re keeping our fingers crossed for a follow-up real soon. — B. Cakes