In contrast to 2013’s more eccentric Apocalypse, Thundercat’s The Beyond is an introverted mini-album that, rather than leaping out of the speakers, tumbles and unfurls. Clocking in at just 16 minutes, the bass virtuoso wrote it in conjunction with his innovative work on Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly and Flying Lotus’ You’re Dead! Amid its textured, timeless, transcendental grooves, he grapples with the death of friends and the end of a relationship – here the eerie ambience of Radiohead meets the warmth and virtuosity of jazz fusionist Stanley Clarke. Them Changes, a funk track co-produced with Flying Lotus, is built from an Isley Brothers drum sample, maple bass and the Moogerfooger effects unit; elsewhere chords collide with falsetto choral vocals and subtle percussion.
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