9/10 Li'l Biz Staff review, 01 September 2011
Bit of excitement surrounding this release as it's been produced by the big man on campus, Flying Lotus. Lotus managed to coerce touring artist/outstanding bass player Stephen Bruner to release some of his own solo material and has done a sweet job on the production too. Bruner seems to be some kind of super badass! He's got a regular gig as touring bass player for the likes of Erykah Badu and Snoop Dogg but he's also long-time member and touring bass player for Suicidal Tendencies! What a fucking dude! When he's not earning top brass with the big lads Bruner indulges his passion for jazz fusion and its various mutations. 'The Golden Age Of Apocalypse' is beastly funkified machine of a debut! Bruner's bass playing is impressive enough (Jaco Pastorius anyone?) but with the addition of Grammy-winning drummer brother Ronald Bruner, Jr livening up the beat quota and the Flying lad at the helm you end up with something impressive and otherworldly that is instantly pleasing to the ear. Bruner extends on the traditions of Jazz Fusion, bringing elements of Soul, R&B, Blues, New Age and Electro Futurism with him to craft an almost overwhelmingly virtuosic debut. Bass playing wise, he's giving Tom Jenkinson (Squarepusher) a serious run for his money. Musically we're talking somewhere between the blissful pop manoeuvres of Toro Y Moi, the futurist productions of Flying Lotus and LA future-funk pioneer Dam_Funk, a healthy dose of Stark Reality and a pinch of that early Warp vibe, adding to the distinctly late 90's feel. First listen highlights include cheeky soul mover 'Is It Love?', and sparse rethink on George Duke's 'For Love I Come' and blissful 70's funk grooves of 'Seasons'. No surprise this is on Brainfeeder/Ninja Tune. Easily the best thing I've heard on the label for some time.
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