Sound Tribe Sector Nine rang in 2008 the same way they celebrated their past four New Year’s Eves. After finishing another sold-out run of shows in their home state of Georgia, the now Santa Cruz, California based livetronica five-piece set up shop at the Tabernacle in Atlanta. While they may have changed their locale in 2000, they haven’t forgotten their roots, or the venue that propelled their careers before heading west.
STS9’s annual year-end blowout at the Tabernacle has become the main event in a series of surrounding local parties featuring DJs and other live electronica acts. This year the group welcomed several opening artists to the Tabernacle stage during their run, such as Glitchmob, Sub-ID, and Bassnectar. (The band also sponsored multiple late-night parties throughout the city during the week.)
San Francisco’s Bassnectar played one of these late shows at the Apache Cafe in Midtown. Even without alcohol sales (twas a Sunday night in Georgia), the small club was crammed full of sweaty fans who were ready to dance until dawn. Long lines outside proved this was one of the most anticipated parties of the week. Sure enough, the packed club, located under Atlanta’s Olympic torch, was indeed hot, and the dance floor ate up all of Bassnectar’s heavy electro-breaks till 5AM.
New Year’s Eve was the grand finale and STS9 was joined onstage by its extended family. The tribe usually includes additional artists in their shows, such as live painters J. Garcia and Kris Davidson, New York City floral designer Anthony Ward, and their lighting guru, Saxton. And they weren’t just showing off for the big night. Anthony Ward has created floral art for STS9 as far away as their shows in Japan, and their light show is great every night. Though the band might be hard to categorize since they meander through rock, hip-hop and electro, all of these musical elements give their sound a feeling of a movement, which truly distinguishes them from the pack.
Their last album, Artifact, was released in 2005. The follow-up, Artifact:Perspectives, is an impressive remix collection including interpretations from Ming & FS, Bill Laswell and Karsh Kale, to name a few. The band also maintains an impressive online store, which includes soundboard quality recording of some their noteworthy performances.
If you missed their latest live run down in Atlanta, you can catch them on their upcoming tour beginning on the West Coast in mid-January and ending at the Langerado Music Festival in Florida in March.
Words and images: Blake Styles