The LA artist talked to KCRW for its” Personal Playlist “series
Stephen Bruner is Thundercat. Carlos Gonzalez/The onepointeight hide caption
toggle caption Carlos Gonzalez/The onepointeight
Stephen Bruner is Thundercat.
Carlos Gonzalez/The onepointeight
Thundercat is among Los Angeles’most accomplished and in-demand musicians. A regular collaborator with Flying Lotus, he’s likewise contributed to albums by Erykah Badu, Kamasi Washington and Kendrick Lamar, the latter of whom won a Grammy with Thundercat in 2016 for the single “These Walls.” Most just recently Thundercat has actually entered his own as a solo artist. His fourth album, It Is What It Is, was launched in April 2020 on Brainfeeder. For the Lockdown Listening playlist, Thundercat spoke to KCRW about the night Jaco Pastorius altered his life, the importance of listening to albums from the start, and the record that helps him through unusual times.
Surprisingly enough, I kinda got here prior to this happened.
With all the tenets of what brought about the new album, It Is What It Is, I discovered myself simply requiring a minute. And it doesn’t feel like what I wasn’t doing already. I don’t seem like, “Oh god, the world’s ending!” I suggest, I already knew the world was ending. It just feels like “whatever in its place” a bit. And everybody needed a moment to have this reflective, like … “Am I an awful individual?” And it resembles, “Yeah! Deal with that!”
There’s a lot music. And often you forget various places you’ve been and visited, and some locations you visit rather often.
EGBERTO GISMONTI One artist I have actually reviewed is Egberto Gismonti and his album, Academia de Danças. It is among my preferred Egberto albums. The composition is ludicrous. It seems like music truly from the brain, and it’s immediately stunning, instantly overwhelming. He leaves no stone unturned in the concept of the compositions that are on this album. And I love it. It’s pure in noise and tune and harmony to a significant degree. The whole album is a journey. I do not wish to change one song.
There’s one song I love on the album that possibly I’ve played by itself: “Vila Rica 1720.” But anytime I put it on, if I begin with “Vila Rica,” I get weirded out and have to start from the extremely leading, because getting to “Vila Rica” is what makes it truly special. It resembles, you can’t put on Jaco Pastorius’s album and start at “Picture of Tracy.” You need to hear that from the beginning, because that’s a really tender moment that you do not wish to separate from the album.
YouTube JACO PASTORIUS My dad used to listen to a radio station in the evening, due to the fact that he ‘d sit up and read and practice and do stuff after we went to sleep. And he wakes me up around three o’clock in the morning and pulls me into the restroom. He’s like, “Examine this out.” And it was “Picture of Tracy” on the radio. My daddy attempted to communicate to me that it was one person playing the bass by himself: this four-string instrument that I had actually been practicing. And when that really set in, it stimulated this unusual possibility, and I ended up being infatuated and really wished to understand what that meant. It blew my mind.
And within the next number of days, my dad came home with the CD. And I emulated my daddy in a specific respect where I would wait until everyone went to sleep. And I would sit down and open my art book, and I would listen to Jaco’s album really low, and after that I would practice to it. However it was that moment of hearing “Picture of Tracy” where it turned my whole entire life around.
YouTube EVANGELION Evangelion may be the greatest Anime soundtrack. I’ve been listening to Evangelion 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone by Shiro Sagisu, and the essential tune is “Vicious Dilemme.” That composition sits in a really reflective space in the cartoon where every character is attempting to determine things in their mind. It likewise makes me sit and think a bit when I hear it.
YouTube STEVE KUHN One album that has actually assisted me through odd moments like this is Steve Kuhnfrom 1971. The very end of the album is very stunning; it gets actually intense. There’s one track called “Ulla” and another called “The Meaning of Love.” I love it. It’s a gorgeous photo, and it assisted me to understand things, life a bit, you know. And as I’m thinking about it, I hope it does that for whoever listens to it too.