Tuesday, 20 March 2012

The 2kDozen 500: #109 - TheeSatisfaction, "awE naturalE"

"Bitch" is as slinky and minimal as I remember their live show a few months ago. Slinky of bongo and bass, at least. Lyrically, a bit more abrasive - "I am the bitch/On the side". And the vocals seem much clearer and higher up the mix than I remember from their earlier albums. Then "Earthseed" has a vertiginous piano line spiralling up that I could describe a lot better if I was more of a musicologist. I think it's about oil and fascism.

"Queens" is even a bit house-y, a Daft Punk style tremelo wobble. "Move your groove thing/To keep your soul intact." A party tune: handclaps and swirling loops. And some gorgeous lush bassline. It's a lush album this, very vegetative and tropic. A Seattle hothouse, and not something I could have imagined appearing on SubPop back in those twenty years ago.

"Existinct" goes back to the manipulation of jazznoises to form a soft/hard backdrop to the vocals. It's the sensation I associate most with the band: hard/soft - chewiness. Most of the tunes are pretty short too; the whole album is less than thirty minutes in all. "My melanin is relevant/It's something to be had" they assert on "Deeper" over some quick-step dub with laid-back alarm sounds. That hard/soft thing again. "Juiced" sounds just as you might imagine, wordless and exhausted.

"God" lopes beautifully again, stretched across a hardbop piano. (Is that correct? I don't know jazz. It's only something I can describe from the outside.) "Enchantruss" has some ancient keyboard sounds, wheezing and grasping at the future, while the words are hard to follow: "We time travel in nightmares/..I think of Archie Bunk". "Needs" may even crank up the slinky, laid-back-bongo-funk dial to the highest point while they chant "I need to prove myself" over and over.

"Crash" is a very simple piano line, chopped up and glitched very slightly, while some binary lyrics go "zero" and "one". Reaching out to that notoriously-difficult-to-crack Skynet audience perhaps? Then "Naturale" closes the album amongst clashing martial samples and the lasses bigging up themselves as "Queens of the Stoned Age/And princesses of time". Glacial poise but full of warmth.

The link is from NPR for a wee while - here! . You really should have a listen, as it sounds a bit like a lot and exactly like nothing. The sweet spot in the middle.

Rating: Funky out of Lush

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