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Loves Stevie Wonder Why We Celebrate Colonialism

Seattle Times music critic Andrew Matson picked this record as one of the best of 2010, saying:

This EP includes some of Seattle jazz-rap duo THEESatisfaction’s most straightforward songs to date and also their most psychedelic ones. Collage-style beats underpin super-controlled singing and sharp, hallucinatory rapping.

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Magnetic Blackness

I recently picked up a copy of the rare Magnetic Blackness EP from THEESatisfaction & Champagne Champagne, circa 2010. It’s a 7” two-song single. And while it’s only like three-minutes per side, each song is so wild and alien and trance-inducing, I find myself routinely flipping it over six or eight times, listening to these two tunes on such infinite repeat until they form grooves. Solid listening here, but also a little hard to describe… You put this on and feel the vibrations of the planet and the universe around you.

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awE naturalE

The silhouettes moving through the jungle evoke the strongly primal and sensual emotion you feel when listening to THEESatisfaction’s 2012 Sub Pop debut, awE naturalE. This is music you not so much listen to as you hear deep in your ancestral DNA. Track 3, “Queens,” is a song so sultry, so belly-warming, and twitchy, it makes the repeated line “sweat on your cardigan” sound like pure sex. A later track contains the line, “try to deny the funk.” Settle into a comfy chair and listen to this one loud enough that you can feel the enormous bass. It has a physical presence here. Tendai Maraire and Ishmael Butler of Shabazz Palaces make an appearance on a couple of songs, too.

The Stranger picked awE naturalE as the very best hip-hop album of 2012, saying that:

“QueenS”—one of the three tracks arranged by Erik Blood on awE naturalE (he mixed and recorded the whole album)—is not only the best hip-hop track of the year, but also the most seductive. The genius of “QueenS” is how it draws you into its world. You first hear it from the outside, like a party in some house or apartment you are approaching. Upon reaching the door of this place, it magically opens for you—you enter and become a part of what’s really happening. This is why the video for the track, which is also the 206 video of the year (though it was shot in Brooklyn), captures the essence or the feel of the music so perfectly. Directed by hip-hop journalist and culture critic dream hampton, the video leads us into the warm core of a party in an apartment. The women at the party are all black and dreamy. This is their world. This is their music. This is how they party.

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Supa Dupa (Love Affair)

Do y’all mess around with 7″ 45s? I normally can’t be bothered with them, mainly because by the time I drop the needle and get comfortable, half the side is already over. But I do have a small stockpile, and many are very weird, or rare, which makes them fun to put on when I can’t decide what to listen to next. Pictured here is one of my favorites: Supa Dupa (Love Affair), a 2015 B-side of a 7″ from THEESatisfaction. In tiny blue type, in the middle of this cover, it says “front” and on the back it says “back.” (This is the back.) The A-side is the booming bass downbeat “I Don’t Like You.” This came as a bonus release with the EarthEE vinyl. “Supa Dupa” is a gem of a track, with a danceable driving disco vibe.

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Loves Anita Baker

Tonight I’m spinning THEESatisfaction‘s Loves Anita Baker, a 2012 eight-minute EP. These are five glamorously positive songs, the ’80s-esque “Pressed” in sequence promptly followed with “Cabin Fever Sweet Love,” a foot-tappingly sensational standout track. (And now I’m off listening to Anika Baker’s “Rapture.”)

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Sandra Bollocks Black Baby

Sandra Bollocks Black Baby is a 2011 five-track live jam mixtape from THEESatisfaction. It’s a fine example of pulling back the curtain on production and composition to reveal the direct interplay between two creative minds. Sure, it’s a little rough around the edges, but that’s part of what makes this EP such fun — hearing the songs slowly take shape while they’re being played. Great cover, too.

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EarthEE

EarthEE from THEESatisfaction is quite possibly our favorite record of all time. Writing about favorites is hard because of how much you want to say and how so much of what connects you to music is hard to define. Political, environmental, and human, this record approaches its themes in ways sublime and profound: It dives down and plumbs the vast depths of the ocean and the mind. There’s so much happening on the bottom end that this music pours out of your speakers like thick molasses, pooling on the floor.

SassyBlack and Stas Thee Boss may have ended their creative partnership, but we’ll always this magical sequence: When the dense vocal layering at the end of “Fetch/Catch” gives way to the punch-in-the-stomach drum kick of “Nature’s Candy,” and then, after a few bars of rapping, the song performs alchemy, reversing motion, escaping time. (Also, gorgeous cover by Rajni Perera and Dusty Summers.)

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