ThundercatsPicture1aThe photograph above was taken at Flying Lotus’ studio shortly after a jarring DMT trip on the morning of February 2nd, 2012. It was Groundhog’s Day and someone mistook Snarf for a groundhog and the next thing you know, this jam was recorded. It was epic and transcendent and the sounds of the Snarf are submerged in the recording. HEADPHONE MUSIC.

None of this is true. Nor do I have any information that Eddie Murphy’s “Party all the Time” played any role in it’s influence. Nonetheless, I will believe that it did. The Thundercat album does for jazz fusion what Dam-Funk did to boogie, it’s faithful to its influences and yet radical at the same time. It is something shaped by hip-hop, with its own voice, aesthetic and ideas. It does nothing less than transform a theoretically moribund genre, without any trace of irony that plagues most attempts to appropriate these sounds. It might be my favorite album of the year. If George Duke and George Benson were in their 20s in 2013, this is how they’d sound.