On It Is What It Is, the bassist examines the loss of his best friend, Mac Miller, through a deep-dive, jazz-fusion opus.


It Is What It Is

Bassist Stephen Bruner, aka Thundercat, is a sparkle in the sea of creators. Known for his integral role in shaping the sound of Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly, Thundercat’s music has virtuosic runs on par with Miles and Jaco, bound by ’70s funk grooves underneath a falsetto.

It Is What It Is— inspired by the death of Thundercat’s friend, rapper Mac Miller—captures the existential turmoil of our times. Thundercat’s psychedelic flair takes things higher on tracks like “Interstellar Love,” where saxophone (played by longtime pal Kamasi Washington) and drums interplay while Thundercat’s swanky-smooth bass lines chauffeur this eclectic jazz-fusion-jam.

Guitarist Steve Lacy—who appears on the track “Black Qualls” alongside Childish Gambino— recently described Thundercat in The New York Times: “He’s the coolest bass player that ever walked the Earth.” In a year where all bets are off, an R&B tilt-a-whirl with soulful silver linings provides sweet escapism.

Must-hear tracks: “Interstellar Love,” “Dragonball Durag”

A faithful recreation of the Germanium Mosrite Fuzzrite with a modern twist.

Read MoreShow less

The all-new HT series offers "heat treated" pickup technology along with the Cutlas HT, StringRay HT, and Sabre HT guitars.

Read MoreShow less

Presets extend the flexibility of an already expansive and easy-to-use reverb.

Intuitive. Great range in all controls. Well-built.

Some digital artifacts at long decay times.


Walrus Audio Slötvå


Walrus Audio is a prolific builder, but, as the five reverb pedals in their lineup suggest, they have a real affinity for manipulating time and space. The beauty of the Slötvå reverb (which is derived from the company’s very similar Spin FV-1 chip-based Slö reverb) is how satisfying and simple it makes dramatic shifts between time/space textures.

Read MoreShow less