THEESatisfaction broke up this year. With all the talk about Prince, Bowie, Cohen and Phife Dawg (and I now also want to add Prince Buster, David Mancuso and Pauline Oliveros), I think the musical news that actually hit me hardest is that there won't be many, many new THEESatisfaction records to listen to in the years to come. Their two records awE NaturalE (2012) and EarthEE (2015) were two of the records I listened to most often over the past five years. They are records I feel I will listen to for the rest of my life and never get tired of. I feel they are also, in so many ways, musical landmarks for the moment we are currently living in.
I think I'm writing this because, based only on a quick internet search, it seems to me that no one else did. No one else celebrated what an awesome and important band they were, or at least not nearly enough people wrote about the significance of their breakup. When I think of awE NaturalE, I think of something I once read (attributed to Brian Eno), that "The Velvet Underground's first album only sold a few thousand copies, but everyone who bought one formed a band." I try to never predict the future, but I have the strange feeling that in the years and decades to come THEESatisfaction might take on a similar importance. At the very least, they already have for me.
It has something to do with music and politics. This music that is so political and finds such a deeply honest and pleasurable way to be so. Music that experiments with such verve and joy and speaks about the things that hurt and heal and are so fucked up in this world, but always with a sense of community and possibility. An avant-garde that is also completely pop and finds ways to take risks on both sides of the outmoded divide. Actually, I'm not sure what else there is to say. Just listen...