When Stephen “Thundercat” Bruner’s Flying Lotus-produced debut was released (exactly one year ago, today…), I was introduced to a musical utopia originally sketched by artist Herbie Hancock. The album’s details have already been discussed, but it seemed necessary to reflect upon an album that I believe, in due time, will become our generation’s Thrust, perhaps even its Head Hunters. I could comfortably position “Butterfly” directly in between “Is It Love?” and “For Love I Come” and it would make complete sense—an appropriate transition. Personally, I’d settle, if that’s even the word, for what Freddie Hubbard was doing with Ron Carter and Herbie Hancock in the early-1970s.
“Red Clay.” “Sky Dive.” “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey.” In that order. Ask about it.
But, this isn’t a time for nostalgia. Typically, comparisons lead down a road with two dead ends: Entrapment and Failed Expectation. Thundercat is carving his own lane and that was never more evident than during The Golden Age of Apocalypse.
For now, however, we are talking about “Walkin’” and its corresponding music video.
This is what The Golden Age of Apocalypse LOOKS like.
It’s markedly eccentric, with a tinge of optimism. Ethereal bass-driven melodies and buoyant rhythms will do that.
And as our principle actor bounces down the street, accompanied by adult film actress (I googled it…?), Havana Ginger, we are introduced to the world in which Thundercat lives. There is a faceless suburban family…literally. Most everyone wears varying styles of nonsensical masks. Jack Davey is a reincarnated housewife. Her counterpart, Brook D’leau wrestles on the front lawn. Taz Arnold is dressed in an all over print designer jumpsuit, reminiscent of MJ in “Thriller.” He then kills a costumed monster with a light saber. So, nothing out of the ordinary for him. And, of course, FlyLo has laser eyes. There’s that too.
This is The Golden Age of Apocalypse. I hope it never ends.
Written By: Paul Pennington