Thundercat Vinyl, CD & tapes by Thundercat at Norman Records
Stephen Bruner made a name for himself in a couple of ways and they might not sound immediately related.
You might know him as a backing player in the wild world of sampledelic legend Flying Lotus, but he also once played his part in thrashers Suicidal Tendencies. It's a triumph of life that these two things can exist in such small degrees of separation, but it's also worth celebrating Bruner in his own right as the genius that is Thundercat. He's released so much music collaboratively that it's hard to even get started on it; as a solo artist, his output is gleeful, starting out as electronically supplemented jazz and absorbing sounds from R&B and fusion.
On Apocalypse, Thundercat announced himself as a songwriter with more than just a bass, his FlyLo-produced sophomore offering giving way to a relaxed, conversational tone that suggested different moods and intonations of his often jubilant sound. His work has since embraced the wonky and wonderful world of jazz fusion on The Beyond / Where Giants Roam and the steadier and more purposely inane Drunk, where he found itself enraptured in domestic bliss and cat sounds. With a chopped-and-screwed version of that record also released in full (the codeine-nodding Drank), it's clear he's taking it easier, these days, letting himself go in ways a hard-working musical polymath deserves.