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BRAINFEEDER

Various Artists

Brainfeeder X - 10th Anniversary Boxset



    FORMAT INFORMATION

    2xDeluxe CD Info: 2 x CDs housed in an 8 panel digipack sleeve.

    4xLP Box Set Info: 4 x 12” LPs in 3mm spined sleeves with printed inners housed in a rigid board box with outer slipcase featuring “Brainfeeder X” laser die cut logo, spot gloss details and obi-style band.

    What do you do when you’ve done a private gig performing MJ classics in Quincy Jones’ lounge in front Mr. Jones himself, supported Red Hot Chili Peppers on tour, co-written tracks on Thundercat’s opus ‘Drunk’ and written a song for the Lego ‘Ninjago’ movie? Sign to Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder label, of course. ‘Time’ is Cole’s third album - a casual but addictive blend of quickfire, hook-laden electrofunk bullets and wistful, soft-focus balladry - and it’s compelling. Featuring guests Thundercat, Brad Mehldhau, Genevieve Artadi and Dennis Hamm. For fans of Mac DeMarco, Thundercat, Connan Mockasin and KNOWER.

    Dorian Concept

    The Nature Of Imitation

    Dorian Concept - the insanely gifted keyboardist, producer and collaborator with Flying Lotus, Thundercat and The Cinematic Orchestra - makes his debut on Brainfeeder and the result is refreshingly unpretentious: dizzying swells, cacophonous breakdowns and formidable rhythms are both expert and childlike, hyperactive and hyper-focused. It's a multi-coloured and multi-textured affair which both nods to, and distances itself from fellow luminaries, with the most obvious comparison somewhere between the the luminous and full frequency sounds of Lone and Hudson Mohawke. Fans of Machine Drum, Floating Points and Cid Rim will also find much to enjoy; as will, I'm sure, anyone into the new Peckham jazz / electronics scene and the modern day whizz kids of LA mentioned above. 

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    LP includes MP3 Download Code.

    The culmination of almost two years of intense studio time, working 20 hour days, and often spending months perfecting just one aspect of a track. "I tried to be careful with every single sound” he explains, “Trying new things, making a bit more of an explosive sound”. The album also finds Felix recording his own voice for the first time, with the resulting tracks acting as snapshots of his personal life while recording. “Every time I went to make music the things which would really grab me are the emotional things, and while I’m in that place I felt I could really focus on the track. That was a massive part of this album, tapping into my emotions… into my emotional instability”.

    The album title - “Family Portrait” - also nods to a very specific personal aspect of the record: the influence of his parents. Dance music has always been a feature in Felix's life, with early memories of his dad producing music on his analogue set-up, or pumping out hi-NRG tracks on the turntable, he grew up discussing, sharing and learning about music from his dad. “My dad has been hugely influential to the whole thing,” he explains. However it was with the emergence of some old family VHS tapes, and the story of how Felix’s parents came to meet, that the true significance became clear.

    As integral to the Ross From Friends identity as the recorded music is the live show, the two having always existed in tandem. Enlisting the skills of two friends, John Dunk on sax and keys, and Jed Hampson on electric guitar, to build out his arrangements into a show which works as well on a festival stage as in a club. The band head out on a headline tour in September, with upcoming live shows at Primavera Sound, Field Day and Kala Festival this summer to name a few.


    Fresh on Fly Lo's Brainfeeder comes this lo-fi stalwart with four tracks of decidedly more experimental styling's than the usual bit reduced 4/4 house he's become famous for. An obvious choice for this pioneering LA-based label, RFF is both taste-defining, on trend and cutting edge, all at once; barging his way into the hallowed halls of this iconic label and finding confidence next to label mates like Kamasi Washington, Daedelus and DJ Paypal. The four tracks here are multi-textured and detailed, languid and emotive. As much in tune with the mind and soul as the body and butt, it marks an exciting new direction for this talented producer who's obviously still got lots of tricks up his sleeve. From electronic soul of openers "Don't Wake Dad" and "John Cage" to the adventurous, swirling deep house of "There's a Hole In My Heart" and the stuttered glide of EP closer, "March"; every track has manipulated vocals and a distinctive sound palette, demonstrating the exquisite skills of this producer wonderfully.

    Brainfeeder presents a special "chopped not slopped” mix of Thundercat’s incredible album “Drunk” (2017) by DJ Candlestick and OG Ron C of legendary Houston DJ collective The Chopstars. Slowed down, chopped up and pressed on purple vinyl, the mix has been appropriately re-titled “Drank”. “If you got ‘Drunk’ it’s only right that you get ‘Drank’. I feel like they go together” declares Thundercat.

    Recommended if you like… Flying Lotus, BADBADNOTGOOD, Kendrick Lamar, DJ Screw ∙ 2LP limited edition purple vinyl edition housed in artworked inners inside a 5mm spined outer sleeve. Photography by Eddie Alcazar and artwork by Zack Fox.

    Includes MP3 download code.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Millie says: In the words of Kendrick Lamar 'Pour up, drank, head shot, drank, sit down, drank, stand up, drank'. Drank is the sequel to Thundercat’s previous release last year ‘Drunk’, remixed and all freshened up to provide the jazziest of vibes you could ever need.

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    2xColoured LP Info: Double LP on purple vinyl housed in artworked inners inside a 5mm spined outer sleeve with digital download code.

    British producer and longstanding member of Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder family, Lapalux releases his new album ‘Ruinism’, featuring collaborations with vocalists JFDR (Gangly / Pascal Pinon / Samaris)’, Louisahhh, Talvi; GABI and Raphaelle Standell-Preston (Braids).

    ‘Ruinism’ is all sonic wreckage and rubble created using only hardware and real instruments. The sound simultaneously destroys and redeems itself across a tight and formidable forty-eight minutes.

    For fans of Flying Lotus, Mount Kimbie, Nosaj Thing, Gold Panda.

    Grammy Award winning singer songwriter, virtuoso bassist and long-standing member of Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder family, Thundercat returns with his incredible new album ‘Drunk’.

    23 tracks deep, ‘Drunk’ features an insane cast of guests including Pharrell, Kendrick Lamar, Wiz Khalifa, Flying Lotus, Kamasi Washington and certified legends Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins.

    For fans of Flying Lotus, BADBADNOTGOOD, Kendrick Lamar, Childish Gambino. 2016 saw Thundercat win his first Grammy award for his contribution to ‘These Walls’ from Kendrick Lamar’s opus ‘To Pimp A Butterfly’. He also played the landmark Brainfeeder showcase at the Hollywood Bowl alongside Flying Lotus, George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, Shabazz Palaces and The Gaslamp Killer and he released the single ‘Bus In These Streets’ to universal acclaim. He also guested on Comedy Central’s Why? With Hannibal Buress and cult late-night talk show The Eric André Show.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Patrick says: Thundercat returns with more mutant funk noodle and hypnotic concentric boogie on this brand new TWENTY THREE! track album. Boasting a stunning array of guest stars including long time homies Kendrick, Pharell, Wiz Cauliflower, Fly Lo and Kamasi alongside yacht rock heroes Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins, this is an arena spectacular of an LP. Ambitious and excellent future funk.

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    CD Info: CD softpack with artworked booklet housed in a cardboard outer slipcase.

    4xLP Box Set Info: Box set comprising four red vinyl 10”s housed in 3mm spined sleeves with artworked inners and digital download codes. Photography by Eddie Alcazar, artwork by Zack Fox and art direction by Adam Stover.

    The word ‘naive’ comes from the Latin ‘nativus’, meaning native, or natural. Today, to be naive is often seen as pejorative, a lack of experience or judgement, but in the art world the word retained some of its original meaning: a quality acquired through birth, a childlike innocence and wonder that produces spontaneous, unaffected art. For Mitchel Van Dinther, the Dutch producer known as Jameszoo, it is this quality that lies at the heart of his debut album, 'Fool', which he calls “naive, computer jazz”.

    Van Dinther emerged from the small town of Den Bosch in the southern Netherlands in the late 2000s. First as a DJ - with wide-ranging crates of avant-garde jazz, prog and kraut rock, electronic experiments, and beat oddities - and then as a producer capable of impressive sonic and rhythmic incongruities. This spring, Van Dinther joins Brainfeeder with an album that fits right into the label’s expanding take on the modern evolution of jazz music.

    'Fool' began life as just a simple debut album, but soon grew into something more audacious. During the recording process Van Dinther became obsessed with classic albums by Steve Kuhn (1971’s 'Steve Kuhn'), Arthur Verocai (1972’s 'Arthur Verocai'), and Robert Wyatt (1974’s 'Rock Bottom'). The melodies, compositions, and idiosyncrasies of these works made the young Dutch producer reconsider his approach, moving him away from the colourful, electronic productions he was known for.

    Not only did Van Dinther take inspiration from these works, he eventually contacted the artists he’d been studying and convinced Kuhn and Verocai to lend their inimitable touch to the recordings. Tapping into jazz’s tradition of playing standards and covers, ‘The Zoo’ re-imagines Kuhn’s playful ‘Pearlie’s Swine’ with Rhodes and vocals that the man himself recorded with Van Dinther in New York City.

    Across its 11 tracks, 'Fool' plays out Van Dinther’s journey to find a musical voice he can be proud of and which can also inspire others. Alongside Verocai, Dafé, and Kuhn, the album features a stellar cast of classical and jazz musicians including pianist Niels Broos, drummers Julian Sartorius and Richard Spaven, bass guitarists Raphael Vanoli and Stephen Bruner (aka Thundercat), and saxophonist John Dikeman. All of these different contributions and approaches are weaved together into a whole by Van Dinther, armed with electronics and naivety. At times coherent, at times seemingly haphazard, the album is always joyful.


    Thundercat

    The Beyond / Where The Giants Roam - Red Vinyl Edition

    Virtuoso bassist and singer-songwriter Stephen Bruner aka Thundercat returns to the Brainfeeder fold with his first solo material in two years, having already made outstanding contributions to not one, but two, of the greatest albums of 2015 - 'To Pimp a Butterfly' and 'The Epic' - by fellow Los Angelians Kendrick Lamar and Kamasi Washington.

    Seven track mini-album 'The Beyond / Where the Giants Roam' picks up where 2013's 'Apocalypse' left off, with Thundercat joined on production duties by longtime sparring partner Flying Lotus for six spiralling excursions to the outer limits of jazz-funk. Featuring soaring choral vocals, and a touch of yacht-like sophistication (Steely Dan springs to mind), the EP is sublime from start to finish. The legendary Herbie Hancock pops up on keyboards on "Lone Wolf & Cub" and there are contributions from fellow Brainfeeder family members Kamasi Washington, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson and Mono/Poly on sax, strings and production respectively. Essential!


    STAFF COMMENTS

    David says: Jazz funk from Erykah Badu and Kendrick Lamar's bass player of choice. Thundercat is a bit of a chameleon, sounding a little bit like Ned Doheny and Herbie Hancock and everyone in between.

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    Mini LP Info: Limited red vinyl pressing.

    The story begins with a man on high. He is an old man, a warrior, and the guardian to the gates of a city. Two miles below his mountainous perch, he observes a dojo, where a group of young men train night and day. Eventually, the old man expects a challenger to emerge. He hopes for the day of his destruction, for this is the cycle of life.

    Finally the doors fly open and three young men burst forth to challenge the old master. The first man is quick, but not strong enough. The second is quick, and strong, but not wise enough. The third stands tall, and overtakes the master. The Changing of the Guard has at long last been achieved.

    But then the old man wakes up. He looks down at the dojo and realizes he’s been daydreaming. The dojo below exists, but everyone in training is yet a child. By the time they grow old enough to challenge the old man, he has disappeared.

    This is, in essence, both a true story and a carefully constructed musical daydream, one that will further unfold in a brazen release from young Los Angeles jazz giant, composer, and bandleader Kamasi Washington. 'The Epic' is unlike anything jazz has seen, and not just because it emanates from the boundary-defying Brainfeeder, which isn’t so much a label in the traditional sense as it is an unfurling experiment conducted by the underground producer Flying Lotus who has featured Washington on his albums 'Cosmogramma' and 'You’re Dead!'.

    'The Epic' is a 172-minute, three-volume set that includes a 32-piece orchestra, a 20-person choir, and 17 songs overlaid with a compositional score written by Washington. Pulsing underneath is an otherworldly 10-piece band, each member of which is individually regarded as among the best young musicians on the planet - including bassist Thundercat and his brother, drummer Ronald Bruner Jr., bassist (yes, there are two) Miles Mosley, drummer Tony Austin (of course there are two), keyboard player Brandon Coleman, pianist Cameron Graves, and trombonist Ryan Porter. Patrice Quinn’s ethereal vocals round out the ensemble.

    The band are all from Los Angeles, mostly South Central, and its members - who call themselves variously “The Next Step” and the “The West Coast Get Down” - have been congregating since they were barely teenagers in a backyard shack in Inglewood. Washington, 32, has known Bruner since he was two. The rest met, at various stages, by the time they were in high school. The hours they have put into the music, playing together and practicing alone, total cumulatively in the tens of thousands.

    “Nothing compares to these guys,” says Barbara Sealy, the former West Coast director of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, who has championed Kamasi and his compatriots from the beginning. “I challenge any group to go out on stage with them and see if they can keep up with it… Kamasi is at the top of his game, and only getting better.” “These young guys,” the rapper Common says, “remind me of why I love music.”

    And the story 'The Epic' tells, without words but rather through some combination of magic, mastery, and sheer force of imagination, is the story of Kamasi Washington and the Next Step and their collective mission: to remove jazz from the shelf of relics and make it new, unexpected, and dangerous again. They seek to both honour and alter tradition: as 'The Epic'’s opening track announces, they are the “Changing of the Guard”. The sound can be felt like flames, sometimes waving in the coziness of a fireplace, in other moments sweeping everything around like a backdraft. But Kamasi is always in control of the burning.


    STAFF COMMENTS

    Millie says: A masterpiece based on a series of dreams… and in my eyes that’s a magnificent reason to create an immense three part album. This profound jazz album seemed a bit daunting to me at first but it is bursting with spirit and the spectacular twenty piece choir bring the music alive. I highly recommend immersing yourself in the entire album if you have some time on your hands (three hours or so!)

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    LP Box Set Info: Now available on three 180g discs in artworked 3mm spined sleeves housed in a rigid board outer slipcase with digital download codes. Half speed cut by Matt Colton at Alchemy, the package includes two 12” poster inserts featuring exclusive artwork by KC Woolf Haxton plus story adaptation and calligraphy by Kenturah Davis.

    Ras_G And The Afrikan Space Program

    Back On The Planet

    Dusty, ethereal and bugged out, the Crate Creator's beats bring the past to the future. "Back On The Planet", G's latest Brainfeeder release, finds the blunted master of the beat guiding his Afrikan Space Program further out than ever.

    After amassing a sizable discography of 7"s, EPs on a host of platforms, Ras_G & The Alkebulan Space Program are "Back On The Planet" for their most complete demonstration to date. The countless nights at SpaceBase behind the MPC and SP-303 have seen _G come fully into his own. On this project past experiments in chest-rattling bass, terse loops and bugged-out field noise come full circle. Ancient Afrikan poly-drum rhythms meet outer-synth splashes of white noise and intuitive experimentation meld with deep sub-harmonics for an otherworldly experience. "Asteroid Storm" captures the pulsating energy of The ASP's live demonstrations while "Natural Melanin Being" finds _G's Uncle Ra sharing a few words of wisdom that go very well with the therapeutic tones of the meditative "All Is Well." "Back On The Planet" is The ASP at it's most confident, shedding all barriers for an open and honest manifestation. Drawing from a source beyond the ego and dealing with the eternal, Ras_G & The Ancient Space Program are a cosmic outfit, eternally elsewhere but always in tune.

    Forever a wildcat and wild card, Los Angeles’ bassist / songwriter / vocalist Stephen Bruner, aka Thundercat, is impossible to tame artistically. A true master of his craft, he can be found playing bass with Flying Lotus, Erykah Badu and Suicidal Tendencies, in the same breath as performing live with the likes of Stanley Clarke, Snoop Dogg or the Red Hot Chili Peppers. His 2011 solo debut ('The Golden Age of Apocalypse', co-produced by Flying Lotus) created an equally genre-blurring enigma of indie rock and jazz, with a touch of electronica.

    On his second album, 'Apocalypse', Thundercat pairs up with executive producer Flying Lotus to pull the veil back and reveal the simple truths of the cycle of life, for all its beauty and destruction. An album about loss and rebuilding, trying to gain something back, and capturing that moment of clarity where one finally finds feet back on the ground again. Bringing a fusion of pop, soul, electronica, prog rock and funk into an unexplored dimension, the album slowly descends and tunnels to the core of what it takes to grasp peace, at a time that it seems most far.

    From the deep, rumbling entrance of ‘Tenfold,’ each of the 12 tracks coalesce with Thundercat’s signature bass, his riffs and basslines gliding sky high to meet Fly Lo’s astral touch. Bruner’s vocals and harmonies also soar with open honesty, rising above heartbreak with uplifting odes to love and companionship (‘Tron Song’) and wise mantras to live by (‘Special Stage’). The album plays as a comedy and tragedy at the same time, delicately addressing tracks like ‘We’ll Die’ while bringing the all-out cosmic funk of the anthemic ‘Oh Sheit, it’s X.’

    As heavy as the lyrical weight may be, the divine musicality of Flying Lotus, and Thundercat’s instrumental collaborations, brings light. Navigating dense rhythms and intense harmonic progressions, the LP pushes through the hypnotic strands of ‘The Life Aquatic,’ the analogue explorations of ‘Lotus & The Jondy’ (recorded in Adrian Younge’s studio with drummer Thomas Pridgen), and Thundercat and Lotus’ prog rock jam ‘Seven,’ a spontaneous improv recording that organically materialized in less than an hour. It’s no wonder the kindred pair often refer to their freeform sessions as “going to space.” Continually pushing tracks to their furthest point, they take the listener to another place completely – somewhere beyond time, a place that transcends this realm. As the aforementioned track ‘Seven’ (named for its challenging time signature) asks, “Can you hear the sounds of infinity?”

    In a world in which upstart DIY talent is flooding the gates of electronic music, a few recent voices have been so strong as to be startling. Lapalux - AKA 25-year-old Stuart Howard - is certainly one such. As singular as a brilliant artist always should be, his instinctive understanding of the atmospheric power of texture grips the ear immediately on listening. 'Nostalchic' is his debut album, mission statement, and the climax of many years of studying his craft. The amalgam of words that make the title is aptly, and perhaps knowingly chosen. The album evokes nostalgia without ever sounding nostalgic, and Howard may have had his tongue in his chic when he added the second half of the title. The album is his most focused document to date, adding his beloved R&B and soul into elements of house and hip hop, all with the trademark Lapalux finish; infectious, lopsided swing and achingly deep texture.


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