Bassist/songwriter/vocalist Stephen Bruner, aka Thundercat, has music deeply rooted within. His father, Ronald Bruner, Sr., is an internationally renowned jazz drummer who played with the Temptations, Diana Ross, Gary Bartz and Gladys Knight. His brother Ronald Bruner, Jr., a Grammy-winning drummer, has played with the likes of Roy Hargrove, Stanley Clarke, and Wayne Shorter. Stephen joined his brother as a member of West Coast punk vets Suicidal Tendencies, playing bass on their worldwide tours while still in high school. He also toured through Japan with Stanley Clarke at the age of 16.
As Thundercat, Bruner takes his jazz roots and works with a mix of artists that suit his wildly experimental sensibilities – ranging from Flying Lotus, Erykah Badu, and Stanley Clarke, as well as more recent collaborations with Wiz Khalifa and Earl Sweatshirt, to name but a few. After meeting and touring with Flying Lotus, the two artists collaborated on Lotus’ 2010 LP ‘Cosmogramma’ on the track ‘MmmHmm.’ Their kindred sense of musicality led to Thundercat’s 2011 solo debut ‘The Golden Age of Apocalypse,’ co-produced by Flying Lotus, which opened Bruner up to a new stratosphere of songwriting and artistic exploration.
In 2013, Thundercat teamed up with executive producer Flying Lotus once again, to form a profound body of work for his second album, ‘Apocalypse.’ Forthcoming on Lotus’ Brainfeeder imprint this July, the album straddles lines and pushes genres further, blurring the confines of pop, funk, electronica and prog rock, and creating something else entirely. Both vulnerable and fearless, a comedy and tragedy, ‘Apocalypse’ is an intimate portrait of an artist who will continue to take music to a new place; the beyond.
Following a string of celebrated releases leaning on everything from kitschy euro sounds to dub disco and psychedelic house, Todd Terje made his mark within dance music circuits. Gems such as the cheese anthem “Eurodans” and the latin disco fuelled edit of Jacko’s “Can’t Help it” under his Tangoterje edit-moniker instantly made industry types and clubbers alike go bananas, and made him to everybodys darling from Gilles Peterson to Pete Tong.
Training to become a pianist Terje enrolled at a local music school, but to his disappointment there wasn’t much jazz being taught there. Gradually leaving the musical career path, he later moved on to study physics at the University of Oslo. Although not longer aspiring to become a pianist, he was by no means over music.
Growing up in the rural village of Mjøndalen, dance music influences were scarce, and no, there was never any “diskoklubb” there. Not a lot of obscure disco or acid house in his milk either. However, during the early/mid nineties dance culture sneaked it way into even the most remote parts of Norway, thanks to the popularity of acts like the
Prodigy and national radio stations filling prime time slots with underground jocks Olle Abstract and Pål “Strangefruit” Nyhus from Mungolian Jetset. On the more personal level, Terje’s sister was a close friend of the late Tore “Erot” Kroknes,who was famous for his releases on Telle records and his production for his girlfriend Annie on the classic disco pop single “The Greatest Hit”. The tapes his sister brought home from Erot to the young Terje became a major source of inspiration for him. Playing around in his early teens on a crap PC together with his mate Dølle Jølle, Terje made his first attempts on house and jungle(!), which they played from cassette tapes on junior high school-dances(!!). Maybe too young for old music back then, Terje reckoned that disco was all a bit silly – until Bjørn Torske’s (one of the early pioneers of the Norwegian disco scene, that became so popular afterwards) “Sexy Disco” caught his ears in 1999 and inflamed his love for the disco sound. Little by little he got sucked into the world of dusty record shops and cheesy disco.
In 2001 Terje got in touch with Prins Thomas, who was at the time working at HS Records in Oslo. Thomas soon recognized his potential, and helped pushing Terje in the right directions. Oslo is a small place where like minded folks tend to join forces, so it didn’t take long before Terje also was introduced to Hans-Peter Lindstrøm.
This mighty trinity of disco vikings from now on worked on their very own vision of balearic disco to spread over the world, which produced so many epigons and clones, but was almost never reached.
Inspired of the former UK generation of disco heads such as Idjut Boys, Black Cock etc, Terje soon began to make is own re-edits of old disco records to make them more suitable for his dancers. But instead of just adding a bass drum and remove some vocals, he injected musicality and playfulness for a more personal twist. Cheesy pop artists such as The Bee Gee’s, Michael Jackson, Chris Rea, Wham, Paul Simon, America or Chic didn´t turn him off, as “there´s nothing wrong with grandiose pop if there´s an equal amount of dub to it”, edit rule number one. This untraditional approach made him the King Midas of edits and he reinvented the whole edit genre almost all by himself.
Inspired by doing edits Terje soon moved on to his own productions which led to two higly acclaimed singles on Prins Thomas´ Full Pupp label: Mjondalen Diskoklubb and Eurodans. After a while remix requests started coming in. Terje transfused the concept of his edits onto his remixes and created a totally new sound cosmos for every track. In most cases they didn´t have much to do with the original tracks, only few fragments from the original were necessary to slice and juice up with his own ingredients, usually resulting in sure shot dancefloor material. Not many remixers puts this much love into their tracks, this makes every remix coming from Terje´s end of the table sound like Billboard Top 20 material.
It´s now 4 years since Terje dropped out of physics studies to do music full time. Some might say this wasn´t smart, the future is in the Planck constant. Terje would then say no, that WAS quite smart, and that he is now the Remaster Of The Universe.