SOUND TRIBE SECTOR 9 : : ARTiFACT (1320 Records '05)

"The album is an artifact of our bringing two worlds together - us in the studio and us being a live band," he said. "I think we succeeded in bringing together the worlds of studio with our live energy." - Zach Velmer, Sound Tribe Sector 9 drummer

Artifact is a special recording: lush, compelling, groovy, and addictive. It is best enjoyed in its complete form, with a good set of headphones or speakers. The music conveys sentimental moods akin to trip-hop from LTJ Bukem or trance from Boards of Canada and Aphex Twin. Many of its songs are so deeply layered that listening is almost a subliminal experience, inviting repeated visits.

STS9 produced and arranged Artifact much like a sculpture - a multi-dimensional aural sculpture. They described the creation process as a series of "developmental passes" exploring a variety of textures "wrought from an openness to the possibilities that were felt in the moment." In this sense, the album's production itself is improvisational. STS9's live performances have always hinted at a production prowess that this recording fully realizes.

It's as if the band laid down some amazing tracks and then decided to use these recordings as a launching point, employing studio tools to rearrange their work and themes into a more complex set of recordings. Fans will recognize new interpretations of songs including "Tokyo", "Peoples" and "GLOgli". (An edited version of "Tokyo" is available for free download at

Sector 9 deserves kudos for this experimentation. The STS9 groove machine is in full effect. Artifact amalgamates these grooves into an even headier mix of subdued rhythms within a richer overall sonic palette. DJ drum n' bass influence is inherent in several tracks, but there is stylistic diversity to be found throughout the tracks that defies simple categorization. So forget labels, this music is simply beautiful and satisfying.

In 1983, The Columbia Space Shuttle STS-9 completed a successful mission. This Spacelab mission "was highly successful, as it proved the feasibility of the concept of carrying out complex experiments in space using non-NASA persons trained as payload specialists." (thanks to wikipedia) With Artifact, STS9's mission finds similar success.

Haig Assadourian
JamBase | Colorado
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[Published on: 1/27/05]

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