Bass Player Magazine presents
Real Magic, The Seshen
628 Divisadero St
San Francisco, CA, 94117
Doors 7:30 PM / Show 8:00 PM
This event is 21 and over
Watch & Listen
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.
Drew Englander, also known as Real Magic, got his start in early 2011 when he recorded “No Things Left,” an experiment in which he layered his somber and heartfelt croon over a whirlwind of grimey electronics and breakneck rhythms. It was to be a jumping off point for Englander, as he continued to delve into the capabilities of his voice and songwriting.
His music incorporates a diverse scope of styles, from classical composers to singer/songwriters to beat-makers and experimenters old and new. What distinguishes this singer/producer from his sample-and-effects laden contemporaries is the surprising range and character of his vocals, which are featured prominently in the mix to create a sense of genuine humanity often absent from electronic music. Englander’s melancholy voice sits atop carefully arranged compositions of synthesizers, strings, guitars and twittering drum machines, leading the way through a soundscape that is dark and brooding, yet hopeful and triumphant.
Real Magic's two releases, the No Things Left EP in 2011 and debut album Deep Breathing in 2013, received much praise from critics and bloggers, earning him features in Stereogum, Brooklyn Vegan, Death + Taxes and many more. As of late, Englander has been polishing his energetic live show, opening for the likes of YACHT, Bonobo, School of Seven Bells and Blue Sky Black Death, along with performances at festivals such as CMJ, Kaleidoscope, Symbiosis, SUNY Purchase’s Fall Fest, Goldrush and Westword Music Showcase.
Fronted by vocalist Lalin St. Juste, The Seshen is a seven piece band based in San Francisco. Mixing live and electronic elements and taking influence from eclectic sources including psychedelia, hip-hop, pop, R&B, West African music, dub, and indie rock, they create beat-driven compositions with a strong emotional core, a compelling sound that has hooked many fans and bloggers from first listen. Heavy industry interest has resulted in the band inking a deal with Tru Thoughts records to take it to the next level.
The Seshen's self-titled 2012 debut album, released via Bandcamp, has inspired comparisons to J Dilla, Little Dragon, Beach House and Erykah Badu, and they have also found themselves in high demand as a live act with support slots for the likes of Thundercat, Hiatus Kaiyote, Hieroglyphics and The Memorials (with Grammy award winner Thomas Pridgen).
The band that provide the immersive sonic backdrop for the complementary vocalists, Lalin St. Juste and Akasha Orr, are bassist/producer Aki Ehara, drummer Chris Thalmann, keyboard/synth player Mahesh Rao, percussionist Mirza Kopelman and synchronizer/sampler Kumar Butler; between them creatively manipulating an array of technology alongside their more traditional instruments, with acoustic percussion including congas, bongos, timbales and more.
This close-knit group was born from the relationship between Lalin and Aki, a couple who met while studying in Ghana and bonded over music. On their return to the US, they lived in LA before moving to Aki's hometown of San Francisco, where they started collaborating on music together and gradually built the band through jam sessions with their circle of friends.Utilizing a heavily layered base of electronic textures, The Seshen complement the complex emotions and vivid imagery of Lalin's poetic lyrics, and blur the distinction between the abstract and the familiar, for a resulting atmosphere that is distinctively their own.
Finding the perfect home on the eclectic, soulful roster of Tru Thoughts records, The Seshen have announced their signing to the UK label in 2014, alongside Spring and Summer US tour dates.