One year ago today, bassist and Kendrick Lamar collaborator Thundercat released his acclaimed The Beyond/Where the Giants Roam EP. To celebrate the mini-album’s anniversary, the Brainfeeder bassist has unveiled the animated video for “Song for the Dead,” which debuted on YouTube ahead of its television debut on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim block on Saturday night.
In the video, the animated avatar for Thundercat and the souls of some wolves take a mind-bending trip around space to orbit the planet. Ryan “RY NO” McShane. who directed and animated “Song for the Dead,” explained the genesis of the video on YouTube.
“One night in August 2013, I drew a fake cover for Captain Murphy’s ‘Between Villains’. I posted it to Twitter and the villain himself retweeted it, and so did Thundercat,” Thundercat and I started chatting over Twitter after that,” McShane wrote. Then Where The Giants Roam drops, I’m nearing the end of a two week break where I’ve been spending indoors, drawing in my room. When I heard ‘A Song For The Dead’, this part – 1:49 – gave me the idea to animate. I wanted to animate this few seconds of a transformation as the sound spins around in stereo.
“But I had a few days free, so I decided to block out a full video. Super rough, black-and-white, with NASA footage backgrounds and then I just sent it to Thundercat. He loved it. So I was locked into it now, my first big solo animation. Naturally, the way I work, I made it even harder for myself – adding colors and extra seconds.”
Thundercat and the Brainfeeder collective – including Flying Lotus, the Gaslamp Killer and Shabazz Palaces – have scheduled three label showcases at Oakland’s Fox Theatre on September 15th and 16th and Los Angeles’ Hollywood Bowl on September 17th. The concerts will also feature Funkadelic legend George Clinton and a special performance by WOKE, the supergroup featuring Flying Lotus, Thundercat, Shabazz Palaces and Clinton.