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
THUNDERCAT is the alter ego of virtuosic bassist / singer Stephen Bruner. The South Los Angeles-native has released two critically acclaimed full length albums on Brainfeeder Records since 2011, and last year saw the release of widely praised mini-album The Beyond / Where the Giants Roam. The album features appearances from the legendary Herbie Hancock, fellow Brainfeeder family members Kamasi Washington, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson and Mono/Poly and production work from Brainfeeder head, Flying Lotus. 2015 also saw Thundercat make outstanding contributions to landmark albums by Kamasi Washington (The Epic) and Kendrick Lamar (To Pimp A Butterfly). His work on Lamar’s recently netted him his first Grammy.
Bruner found his instrument at the age of 4. That made him a late-bloomer in the house of Ronald, Sr., who drummed with the Temptations among others. His first bass was a black Harmony, and he practiced to the Ninja Turtles soundtrack until pops played him Jaco Pastorius. He joined thrash legends Suicidal Tendencies as a teenager, and spent road and studio time with everyone from Stanley Clarke to Snoop Dogg to Erykah Badu. Eventually the name Thundercat stuck, a reference to the cartoon he’s loved since childhood and an extension of Bruner’s wide-eyed, vibrant, often superhuman approach to his craft.
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.
The Seshen is a San Francisco Bay Area-based six-piece led by singer/lyricist Lalin St. Juste and bassist/producer Akiyoshi Ehara. Their forward-thinking sound combines synthesizers, drum machines, and live percussion to create an unmistakable fusion of R&B, synth-pop, and electronic music. St. Juste and Ehara are joined by four remarkable bandmates to create their multidimensional music: drummer Chris Thalmann, keyboard/synth player Mahesh Rao, percussionist Mirza Kopelman, and sampler Kumar Butler. They take inspiration from across the musical spectrum; their individual influences range from recognizable artists (Erykah Badu, Jai Paul, James Blake, Radiohead, and Broadcast) to genres and eras that don’t initially appear to fit together (hip hop, indie rock, early electronica, and 70’s dub). Their unique alchemy of seemingly disparate sounds has led fans and critics alike to describe the band as defying categorization.
The Seshen’s latest release, Flames & Figures (October 14, 2016 – Tru Thoughts), was two years in the making and marks an evolution in their distinctive sound. Narrated by St. Juste’s lyrical stream of consciousness, Flames & Figures explores themes of femininity, power, illusion, and loss, as she draws on both her personal experiences and the world of her imagination.
The band remains in high demand, supporting live shows with the likes of Hiatus Kaiyote, tUnE-yArDs, Thundercat, Petite Noir and many more. Look for The Seshen on tour in both the U.S. and Europe in 2018.
“A lot of artists tout, in their minds at least, that they’re the epitome of cool. But few exemplify that through their music like The Seshen.” – MASS APPEAL
“The Seshen continue to impress with every release.” – OKAYPLAYER
“It's always cause for celebration when there's new music from The Seshen” – AFROPUNK
“A resounding success and refreshing listen…” BANDCAMP
“Beautiful, soulful, and just a little otherworldly…Lalin St. Juste’s voice is the perfect counterpoint, pouring through the spaces between keys and loops like honey” – POPMATTERS