From August 16th through 19th, Wave Spell Live took over Belden Town, California, with festival host STS9 performing nine sets of music including three all-improvisational sets across the weekend. The festival was highly anticipated from the start, with the unique location of the event generating a huge amount of buzz—for the festival, all nine residents of Belden Town evacuated, letting the festival do its thing without any curfews or potential for violation of noise ordinances—in addition to its stacked lineup featuring a huge range of artists from the electronic and jamtronica worlds.
With the location and atmosphere set, STS9 consistently wowed audiences, with performances that offered more traditional fare. However, the pinnacle of the festival was STS9’s improvisational Wave Spell sets, with the sets drawing their name the band’s atmospheric, throwback album released in April of 2018. On Friday night, August 17th, the jamtronica pioneers played their second of three improvisational Wave Spell sets, welcoming a suprise special guest to join them throughout the course of the performance: Richard Devine, the Atlanta-based experimental glitch producer.
Given that Devine was performing “in the round” sets before and after STS9’s first two sets on Friday, STS9 confirmed the rumors that had been circulating around the festival that Devine would be joining the group during a performance. During Richard Devine’s third set of the night, all the members of STS9 came out and joined the producer, transitioning smoothly into their collaborative, improvisational effort.
With STS9 and Richard Devine on tap, the set started off slow, with an extended spacey intro. After 20-some minutes, the augmented group locked in, slowly accelerating into a propulsive groove and not letting up for the rest of the show. Deeply psychedelic throughout, the set showed STS9 at their finest, recalling the group’s deep-rooted history in captivating, extended minimalist jams.
Live For Live Music is proud to premiere a full video of STS9’s Wave Spell set with Richard Devine below, which was brought to us by music writer Vera Lee Mandić. Enjoy!
STS9 w/ Richard Devine – Wave Spell Improv Set – 8/17/18
[Video: Vera Lee Mandić (@phantasy_sts9)]