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Album Review

There just aren't that many bands out there that can claim to have shared a stage with both James Brown and Tortoise. Nor does being able to make that claim necessarily say anything positive about the band's music — that kind of stylistic reach may point to a salutary universalism or to an addle-brained lack of focus. In the case of Sound Tribe Sector 9, luckily, it seems to be 90 percent the former and only about ten percent the latter. On their latest album, Artifact, STS9 wander in the musical wilderness a bit (on the aimless "Possibilities") and lapse into silly Aquarian homiletics once or twice (check the woolly-headed "Music, Us"), but for the most part they keep things tight, interesting, and funky in a gentle but complex way. The quintet makes skillful use of both organic, human-played instruments and samples, blending them together into a rich fusion of forward-looking funk and crazy space-age electronica. They're at their best on the utterly gorgeous "Tokyo," the subtly dubwise "Peoples," and the lightweight but very nicely crafted "Today" — but really, nothing here is less than enjoyable. Even the hippy-dippy moments are kind of fun.

Customer Reviews

Instrumental at its best

I have been trying for over a year to find anything that is a better instrumental cd then this one here and I can't find one. These guys are amazing. The best thing about it is that they are actually playing instruments not just mixing samples. Great style and a great listen.

Musical Story, Yes!!!

This is the best electronic album out there. The perfect combination of live instrumentation and samples. A good balance of sound. You can tell they took their time with this one. It's so polished.It's not a bunch of breaks and blips, its well thought out well written songs. They right music and don't just expand on beats.This album is an example of how great music minds work together to produce art. A great combination of orginal samples mixed with excellent guitar, bass, and drums (most of which sounds live to me). It's a masterpiece. No one has done better, no one will do better.


I'd recomend seeing tribe live. Its sorta hard to just sit around and listen to them especially after seeing them at places like RED ROCKS!!!! Don't think you shouldn't still buy the studio albums, but I think the sts9 experience is pretty much only held in live shows...


Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Founded in Georgia in the late '90s, Sound Tribe Sector 9 (later STS9) quickly refined a style of dub-influenced, breakbeat-infused psychedelic music with a heavy emphasis on group improvisation, comparable to the work of jam band peers such as the Disco Biscuits and the New Deal. The group's debut effort, 1998's Interplanetary Escape Vehicle, was recorded soon after the group's formation and thus provided only scant hints of the sound the band would develop, instead focusing on instrumental funk...
Full Bio
Artifact, STS9
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Customer Ratings