Thundercat will release his third full-length studio album “Drunk” on 24th February 2017 via Brainfeeder. The album is a 23-track epic journey into the often hilarious, sometimes dark mind of the Grammy-winning singer/bassist and finds a few of his friends joining him along the way including: Kendrick Lamar, Pharrell, Michael McDonald (Steely Dan/The Doobie Brothers), Kenny Loggins (Footloose / Top Gun), Wiz Khalifa, Kamasi Washington and Brainfeeder mastermind Flying Lotus. “Drunk” is the follow up to his widely praised 2015 mini album “The Beyond / Where The Giants Roam”, and features fan favourite tracks ‘Bus In These Streets’ and ‘Them Changes’.
‘Show You The Way’ is the first single from “Drunk”, and the ballad features two of Thundercat’s heroes: iconic musicians Kenny Loggins and Michael McDonald. Thundercat mentioned his love of Loggins several times during his press tour for “The Beyond…”, leading to an introduction via his keyboard player Dennis Hamm. He said in a recent interview: “These are guys that I’ve listened to and where I felt that I’ve learned that honesty in the music. Kenny Loggins is one of my favourite songwriters.” Loggins was the one that suggested bringing McDonald in on the track and, Thundercat adds: “I think one of the most beautiful moments was realising how amazing Michael McDonald is. He would go through so many ideas and have so much to offer.”
Thundercat also notes: “That song to me is about going down the rabbit hole, taking you to another place… On the edge of dark, there’s the brightest light. It means a lot to me in the sense of… the experience that I’ve had growing up with friends and people that I’ve been around where it’s inviting them into where I come from emotionally. Sometimes it’s a pretty intense thing. The point is how weird things can get. I feel like it’s very funny that, in a way, of course Michael McDonald and Kenny would be there.”
The album title, like the rest of the album, is meant to be both humorous and serious. “I’ve always tried to hold true to what Erykah Badu and Flying Lotus told me: It has to come from an honest place. I feel like it’s a place that I’ve been in different ways, seen different angles of and it’s been a bit inspirational – the drinking. It has its ups and downs and everything, but I felt like it showed the human side of what goes on behind things, something that I see with all of my friends… I felt like it was kind of interweaved in the music culture. And it’s something that’s never talked about.”
For more on the album and “Show You The Way,” read an excerpt of Thundercat’s upcoming Red Bull Music Academy Daily feature here
“Drunk” is released on 24th February on CD / Digital formats via Brainfeeder, with the vinyl format – comprising four red 10”s housed in a lift-off box featuring photography by Eddie Alcazar and artwork by Zack Fox – following on 10th March 2017. All formats are available to preorder now
01. Rabbot Ho
02. Captain Stupido
03. Uh Uh
04. Bus In These Streets
05. A Fan’s Mail (Tron Song Suite II)
06. Lava Lamp
08. Day & Night
09. Show You The Way (feat. Michael McDonald & Kenny Loggins)
10. Walk On By (feat. Kendrick Lamar)
13. Jameel’s Space Ride
14. Friend Zone
15. Them Changes
16. Where I’m Going
17. Drink Dat (feat. Wiz Khalifa)
19. I Am Crazy
22. The Turn Down (feat. Pharrell)
The theory of technological singularity – the notion that humans and computer technology will increasingly blend together – has been explored in many forms of popular culture since it’s conception. Over the past two decades, there has been a larger movement to integrate electronic artists and jazz musicians, often leaving the former as more of a sonic addendum (floating over the music) rather than an integrated part of the ensemble. Tasked with exploring a deeper synthesis of electronic and acoustic players, instrumental quintet Kneebody’s collaboration with electronic musician Daedelus in turn creates a true union of these disparate approaches to music and genre as a whole.
The collaboration between Kneebody – keyboardist Adam Benjamin, trumpeter Shane Endsley, electric bassist Kaveh Rastegar, saxophonist Ben Wendel and drummer Nate Wood – and Daedelus had its initial roots planted as far back as high school for old friends Wendel and Alfred Darlington (aka Daedelus). “Often when I lived in LA, I would go to practice saxophone at Alfred’s house in the bathroom next to his studio. He would knock on the bathroom door and say ‘Would you mind playing something on this track?’,” recalls Wendel. “So I ended up being on at least five or six of Alfred’s albums because I happened to be there practicing. ”
The pair’s early musical kinship in southern California seeded a connection that grew through numerous collaborations, recordings and live performances over the years, coming to fruition in an improvised performance in 2009 at “Jazz A Vienne” between their two primary music vehicles. When Wendel was awarded a composition grant through Chamber Music America based on the theory of technological singularity, it became a catalyst to write a series of pieces that would bridge the gap between the oft-indescribable world of Kneebody and the unique aesthetic of Daedelus.
When the quintet entered the studio with Darlington, the other members brought more compositions to the fore. “Ben approached me about trying to realize some of this music that was maybe different from the Kneebody spectacular – where they are always so through-composed – and do something that was more intimate,” reflects Darlington. The result is a ten-song set of original music that sits inside the rich pantheon of instrumental music, but with a modern sheen that takes the shape of a multi-headed beast straddling rock, jazz, and electronic music.
Eponymous debut available November 27 via Brainfeeder. Listen to “Drum Battle” below.
Having previously collaborated with incredible results not once, but twice – on Lapalux’s “Without You‘” music video and Nick’s short film Chrysalis in 2013 – Lapalux and Nick Rutter have joined forces once again to create a music video for ‘Puzzle’ feat. Andreya Triana from Lapalux’s second album Lustmore (recently released via Brainfeeder).
Starring James Eeles (Peaky Blinders, My Big Fat Diary) and a 1989 Porsche (model 944) it’s a tender and warped love story of a mechanic called Leon who is possessed by love, but no ordinary love… he has mechanophilia (the love or sexual attraction to machines, including cars). In an enclosed and surreal world where his dreams, hallucinations and visions feel wholly real, Leon tries to make sense of his spiralling emotions. And when the penny drops, can he make the right choice?
Stuart Howard aka Lapalux unveiled another tune from his sophomore album “Lustmore“. ‘Puzzle’ sees Brainfeeder’s UK representative bring in the soulful voice of British singer (and frequent Bonobo collaborator) Andreya Triana.
“It’s a lovelessness,” Howard says, “searching for something more lustful and fleeting. It’s a very visual song for me. It’s about a sort of seedy, underground desire, like an old bar that used to have class, getting slowly seedier, to keep up with the demand for exploitation and filth. I think it sums up the whole feel and mood of the record,” Howard says. “That kind of sultry, seedy undertone and the pieces of the puzzle not fitting together properly, as if in a state of limbo where you don’t know where you are, but there’s something strangely comforting about it.” Those words could well be a credo for Lapalux’s wider musical vision.
Lapalux knew where and how his sound should change with a second album. As a result, Lustmore feels like a record as compulsively inspired and meticulously crafted as you’re likely to hear in 2015.
Lustmore is loosely based on the idea of hypnogogia, a kind of limbo of consciousness between being awake and asleep. Listeners familiar with his 2011 debut, Nostalchic, will know that Stuart Howard’s woozy, infectious rhythms, enveloping textures and unfamiliarly familiar melodies conjure that territory perfectly.
Lapalux attracted the direct attention of Brainfeeder label owner and electronic music icon Flying Lotus in 2010, and was quickly snapped up by the imprint. Acclaimed early EPs were followed by a number of remixes including Bonobo, Andreya Triana, Lianne La Havas amongst others, before his debut album Nostalchic arrived in 2011. On its release Mojo asserted that: “Lapalux has joined the ranks of contemporary electronica’s finest, like FlyLo himself.” The album was a high watermark, and a statement of intent by a young producer who was pushing electronic music forward.
Lustmore sees the young producer take another stride forward. Opener “U Never Know,” which features another masterful vocal turn by Andreya Triana, sets the tone for the album. “The line ‘I don’t think you’ll know’ describes the mysterious limbo-like state between waking life and sleep,” Howard says.
The sleazy, yearning throb of “Puzzle (ft. Andreya Triana)” is unmistakably sexualized. “It’s a lovelessness,” Howard says, “searching for something more lustful and fleeting. It’s a very visual song for me. It’s about a sort of seedy, underground desire, like an old bar that used to have class, getting slowly seedier, to keep up with the demand for exploitation and filth. I think it sums up the whole feel and mood of the record,” Howard says. “That kind of sultry, seedy undertone and the pieces of the puzzle not fitting together properly, as if in a state of limbo where you don’t know where you are, but there’s something strangely comforting about it.” Those words could well be a credo for Lapalux’s wider musical vision.
The sound palette used in making the album was carefully crafted to sound retro futuristic and otherworldly, having sounds in there that could accompany a Bladerunner or 2001: A Space Odyssey. “Whenever I think about the album I think about the bar scene in The Shining,” Howard says. “There’s something about that strange, hallucinatory psychological madness that relates to the music, both in the making of the actual record and the way it sounds.”
Studying old film soundtracks was a hugely important process for the making of the album. “I really focused on making this album an imaginary visual experience. You can almost see these imaginary movies play in your head when you listen,” he says. “That’s something that I really started to work into my music – the idea of creating imagery and characters, storyline, and emotion.” It’s a process that has certainly worked: Lustmore is imbued with an emotional narrative that never loosens its grip on the ear.
The album Lustmore is scheduled for release on April 6th 2015. ‘Don’t Mean A Thing’ is streaming now on Lapalux’s Soundcloud. Pre-order Lustmore and get an instant download of Closure (feat. Szjerdene) and Don’t Mean A Thing: smarturl.it/lustmoreit
1. U Never Know (feat. Andreya Triana)
2. Sum Body
3. Closure (feat. Szjerdene)
4. Midnight Peelers
5. Push N’ Spun
6. We Lost
7. Autumn (Tape Interlude)
8. Puzzle (feat. Andreya Triana)
10. Don’t Mean A Thing
12. Make Money
13. Funny Games
UK beatmaker Stuart Howard aka Lapalux returns with his new single “Closure” featuring the beautiful vocals from Szjerdene. The single is the first taste from his upcoming second album “Lustmore” for Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder imprint.
The 13-track recordis said to be loosely based on the idea of “hypnogogia, a kind of limbo of consciousness between being awake and asleep.” As he says, “I really focused on making this album an imaginary visual experience. You can almost see these imaginary movies play in your head when you listen.”
Lapalux’s “Lustmore” is out on April 7th 2015. Pre-order it here.
The only British voice on Brainfeeder’s celebrated roster, Lapalux aka Stuart Howard marks his return to the imprint after an 18 month hiatus with a 3-part, 7-minute opus to celebrate the beginning of his upcoming European tour.
European Tour // Sept-Dec 2014
19 Sept // Leffingeleuren Festival, Oostend (BE)
04 Oct // Oval Space, London (UK)
17Oct // Post Club, Madrid (ES)
18 Oct // Start The Bus, Bristol (UK)
24 Oct // Basen, Warsaw (PL)
25 Oct // Projekt Lab, Poznan (PL)
31 Oct // Lunchmeat, Prague (CZ)
07 Nov // Gretchen, Berlin (DE)
08 Nov // Freund & Kupferstecher, Stuttgart (DE)
13 Nov // Hi-Fi, Leeds, (UK)
14 Nov // Bt59, Bordeaux (FR)
21 Nov // The Warehouse Project, Manchester (UK)
22 Nov // La Bellevilloise, Paris (FR)
05 Dec // Antirouille, Montpellier (FR)