Peaceblaster – Sound Tribe Sector 9
Upon first listening to STS9s Peaceblaster, I found myself next door asking for some Reddi-wip. I was about to eat some apple pie and find it hard to do so without the proper toppings. Once I was whipped and ready, the sonic freak-out began as soon as the disc started spinning. My thoughts wandered from Walt Whitman to Kobo Abe to all the dead skin cells on all the subways in all the cities of all the world to an irresistible urge to draw a Mandala to a short story of Harlan Ellisons in which he ponders The Singular Scheme of Cosmic Clarity and The Node of Limitless Revealment amongst other things. Then I noticed the disc had been stopped for over an hour, and there was a mess of runny Reddi-wip all over my couch. This was not the first time that had happened. So I went back and listened to the disc again and discovered it functions on three levels. The first is fairly obvious: this is music to listen to while you are smoking pot with your friends. But it can also serve as a catalyst towards clear and sober existential thoughts, and it is good music to practice yoga totrust me.
At times, Peaceblaster sounds like the background music from the future scenes in Bill & Teds Excellent Adventure. At other times, it sounds like the light cycle scene from Tron. And at other times it sounds like purgatory, but in a good way. The disc is divided into fifteen tracks, to what end I cannot discern since it pretty much all runs together. Is it necessary for me to describe it as trippy? Because it is totally trippy. Other adjectivals include but are not limited to mind-bending, transcendent, psychotomimetic, and trippy. STS9 relies heavily on computers, so much so you would have trouble convincing a stranger there are any live instruments played on Peaceblaster, which I guess is the draw of STS9. Techno music by its very definition has no soul, but techno music played by actual people does. And while STS9: Unplugged is not possible, the attention the band is paying towards composition over improvisation is a move in a musical direction. This is the primary reason Peaceblaster stands up to repeated listenings; otherwise it would simply be a boost in the sales of Reddi-wip.