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Monday, Nov. 17, 2008

Sound Tribe Sector 9

Peaceblaster (1320 Records)

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California's Sound Tribe Sector 9 claims that instrumental music can reflect the tension of the times. In fact, the five-man collective considers its dense Eno-esque swirl of pulsing live and electronic sounds a means of "conversation" between band and listener. And Peaceblaster, STS9's fourth studio album, finds band members in a dark mood that's occasionally tempered by shimmering rays of light. Their genre-shattering dual messages of violence and love can be heard in songs as diverse as the talk-box wah-wah rocker "Beyond Right Now," the haunting "Metameme" with sampled vocals, and "The Last 50,000 Years," a Phish-like track containing plenty of ancient echoes. A few dissonant songs recall STS9's challenging earlier work, but for the most part this is accessible and compelling music that seeks to unite its listeners in sonic solidarity. And it should work extremely well onstage-the place where STS9 has built its cult following.

STS9 will perform at The Rave on Friday, Nov. 21.

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