I tell my friends to go see Thunderball all the time.
They all ask the same thing, “What kind of music do they play?” I respond, not giving a sliver of a hint, “It’s something you have to witness for yourself.”
Only the music devotees take my advice.
Thunderball’s musical style can’t be categorized. I’ll spare the hyphens because there aren’t enough in the world to describe them. Since their debut in the late ’90s, the group has morphed and taken new forms. Historically, the group reinvented melodies and arranged motifs, paying homage to ’60s spy and ’70s blaxploitation films. Thunderball doesn’t let the modern fall by the wayside either. The trio blends the old and new well.
The Thunderball of today may not the Thunderball of yesterday, but the very fabric of the band remains cutting edge. On Sunday, September 18th, the group will invariably infect UHallers with a new strain of funk. Thunderball opens with an all-D&B set for English turntablist LTJ Bukem at U Street Music Hall. The latter is a legend in his own right. Bukem is the unstoppable artilleryman who loads his turntables with drum and bass stutters circumventing the genre’s normally assaultive nature to inspire dancing.
Thunderball came to be during a period of evolution. Bukem was experimenting with post-drum-and-bass sounds, and Thunderball came into alignment. Selector, Thunderball’s debut, is a marriage of dub, reggae chanting, funk, electro, and silver linings of drum and bass. It’s somewhat of a precedent to what they’re doing now: everything.
Also known as the “Ambassadors of Style,” Thunderball comes at time as critical as their debut. The styles they entered the business with, are now part of the pop constituency. With associated acts like See-I, Rex Riddem, and Asheru, the band put the brunt work in changing it up yet always making it easy to listen to. Tell your friends!
As somewhat of retrospective to the drum and bass movement, we’re giving away 2 vinyl 12’’ singles of Selector, Thunderball’s debut from December 1998.
Are you a drum and bass fan? If so, let us know your favorite dnb producer. Sorry, LTJ Bukem is just too easy to say, doesn’t count! I love Alex Reece! Enter to win!
The winner must have a mailing address in the continental US or Canada and will be chosen one week from today, Friday, September 23rd.
Thunderball Photo: Jesse Justice