THEESatisfaction Band Photo
By eMusic Editorial Staff, eMusic Contributor
[Until the end of the year, we'll be featuring Daily Downloads from albums that made our list of the Best Albums of 2012]
In this cloud-computing age where everyone is a fan of a bit of everything, it's good to see Sub Pop, the label most famous for bringing grunge to the world, continue to define itself not by genre but merely by brilliant music. They released their first hip-hop album in Shabazz Palaces' much-lauded Black Up last year, which featured Afro-futurist Seattle duo THEESatisfaction; the latter now get their own Sub Pop release with their debut full-length.
Opening with a fanfare of stumbling polyrhythms and speaker-blowing pomp before swerving into nimble, pared-down poetry recitation, the pair recall the boom-bap collages of J Dilla and Madlib, with a touch of Erykah Badu's simultaneous languor and clarity. With constant gear changes like these, and songs that rarely break three minutes, the record is full of personality and verve, a feeling cemented by the rapped and sung vocals. Stasia Irons and Catherine Harris-White recite everyday dramas of sex and politics and give them a magic mushroom logic, full of tangents and florid imagery; Palaceer Lazaro of the aforementioned Shabazz Palaces returns the favor on a brace of tracks mid-album, laying his nimble non-sequiturs over "God," with its beat like an elegantly stuck Bill Evans record, plus the deranged funhouse of "Enchantruss." more »