Story and photos by Matt SchwenkeWith a buzz steadily growing around their electronic alchemy, Sound Tribe Sector 9 took the stage at the Rave in front of a crowd decidedly eager to dance-- surely adding fuel to that fire was the self-described Afro-pop of five-piece opener Toubab Krewe, whose Justin Perkins later wielded his kora (harp lute) in sitting in with STS9. With songs often extending well beyond the five-minute-mark, STS9 blurred the differences between techno, rock, and world jams to provide a uniquely danceable groove that appeased the youthful crowd.
Using sometimes subtle, but often overt, electronic textures and long-revolving patterns of rhythm, STS9's wanderings through songs like "ReEmergence" and "Peoples" were exploratory and, overall, interesting. The live thump pumped into the songs by drummer Zach Velmer put a human touch in the triggered drum sounds while percussionist Jeffree Lerner added the truly organic blend of hand drums over top. Adding well-placed melodies on guitar throughout the night, Hunter Brown was especially tasteful in the tunes "Somesing" and "Vibyl" where bassist David Murphy and keyboardist David Phipps created warm surroundings with both instrument and samplings. Armed with G4 laptops and a host of wires and pedals, STS9 created wide soundscapes that swirled with driving winds of rhythm. "Lo Swagga" was both thought-provoking and irresistibly danceable.
Adding another element to the live show, live painter J. Garcia worked a canvas and paint into art at the side of the stage mirroring STS9's live creation of sound throughout the show. The painting and the music were both well-crafted.
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