Back in June, I wrote about STS9’s latest EP release When the Dust Settles. Tomorrow night Murph and the rest of the guys return to Boston a little over a year since their last stop here.
As you might be able to tell, STS9 (formerly Sound Tribe Sector 9) remain one of my favorite groups. We don’t often write about or post songs by “bands” on MMIBTY and there might be some of you saying to yourself, wait a minute – STS9 isn’t EDM. And to a point you might be right; STS9 is not your traditional EDM in the form of House, Trance, Dubstep, etc. To me, they are a unique type of EDM, combining elements of dance music with those of rock, jazz, funk, and jam bands. If you haven’t seen them live you may not exactly understand where I’m coming from – but after having seen them on several occasions as both a full band and as a PA Set (the band members essentially DJing with the accompaniment of a drummer) one thing is true: they will make your body move.
What I have noticed in listening to live recordings of STS9 (the band releases every show for a mere $10 MP3 download – highly worth it) is that in recent times they have had a more structured sound, with shorter songs (less likely to go over 10 minutes than their older shows), and a move towards sounding more like an EDM group than an electronic jam band, which some might consider them. What’s cool is that on this tour they seem to be playing a nice mix of older, lesser known songs with newer ones including some off When the Dust Settles, which is is to be expected.
That brings me to my next point – the boys from Atlanta are different than most EDM acts because they constantly change up their set lists. This is the aspect of their show that most relates them to being a “band” and I like the fact that they keep the crowd on its toes. After all – a couple years ago in Burlington, VT they brought out Phish’s bassist Mike Gordon for a long improv jam, but they managed to keep it funky and dancey at the same time. DJs often keep their set lists the same, which is fine if it’s working for them, but sometimes it’s refreshing to experience something off the beaten path. Deadmau5, for example, kept his set 100% the same over the four nights he spent in Boston.
At the end of the day, musical preferences are up to the individual listening to the music. I know that I will be at the House of Blues tomorrow night for this show and I highly recommend that anyone in the Boston area heads over to check out STS9. Whether you’ve seen them or not, whether you are familiar with their music or not, you will have yourself a good time. Click here for tickets.
Below are a couple tracks, both live and recorded in-studio, that highlight what they’re capable of.