Sector 9 brings 'universal' message


— For Sound Tribe Sector 9, the forces of the universe were congruent when the members came together to create an art form that they've shared with the world for more than three years.

According to the band's manager Peter Jackson, Sector 9 compiles jam band styles and dance music rhythm, creating a digital sound that accompanies a live band.

"They're trailblazing or creating a marriage between the two communities," Jackson said of the band. "A lot of the same people come to see jam bands as electronic music."

Although the nucleus of the band found each other (or rather, the universe helped them find each other) in Atlanta, Sector 9 soon moved to Athens, Ga., before heading out to California to reach a new consciousness.

"We're totally blessed that we all found each other," said drummer Zach Velmer. "It's like finding a mate for life, you just feel totally blessed."

Some band members, like Hunter Brown on guitar and David Murphy on bass, knew each other before meeting Velmer. While the core group with other members fizzled, the three remained determined to play music they really wanted to hear.

And when the bass, drum and guitar band began finding their sound, the rest of the band united soon after when they added Jeffree Lerner on percussion and David Phipps on keyboard.

"The universe tapped us into each other. It was magic," Velmer said.

Velmer said the band had a large following in the southeast, but after seeing the energy of California on tour, they couldn't resist the magnetic pull from the West Coast.

Although the relatively young band has a fresh outlook on life, they follow an ancient tradition from the Mayan civilization. The new consciousness and old calendar that Sector 9 has modeled is a measurement of time that revolves around the moon's cycle, a calendar different than many people live by in the world.

The name Sound Tribe Sector 9 can be pulled apart in two directions, but the positive and negative charges within the band always will find their way back to each other. Velmer said the band has an ever-evolving name, one in which they all continually find new meaning.

Sound Tribe stands for the whole crew, everyone that's involved in helping create the euphoric art form. Sector 9, also known as The Ninth Baktun, is a period of time from 435-830 A.D., at the height of the Mayan civilization, where caring and an open consciousness about the Earth and its people transcended upon the people.

After studying philosophy, the beginning band members found a facet of history that enlightened them to the same consciousness.

"It's more than just music, it's a vibe," Velmer said. "We bring in energy and people give it back. We share and bring love to all situations."

Velmer called the old calendar one that is harmonious with the Earth, based on a 260-day cycle. Organizations in Oregon and California have inspired Velmer and the band to play in San Francisco for the calendar's new year July 25.

The jungle, funk, reggae, house music and hip hop sounds of Sector 9 will run through The Cellar Lounge Tuesday and Wednesday nights emitting an energy that showers fans with a transcendental digital maze. Velmer said don't come to a show with expectations, just be open to share.


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