Sect

By Bob Gourley | Originally published in 1995

The past few years have seen a tremendous growth in the field of electronic music, with industrial and techno coming together to create a multitude of hybrids. On their debut album, “Telekinetic (Third Mind), Sect prove to be a good example of this by bringing together the intensity of rave music and the sonic experimentation of industrial.

Sect was first started up as a solo project by Mike Victory in 1989. Bruce Young joined the group in 1991 and a third member, Jason McEvoy, came along in 1992. The three members rotate around in terms of specific roles within the band, usually depending on who was most skilled with the equipment needed to add a particular part to a song.

The Vancouver – based group managed to land their deal with Third Mind without too much effort on their part. After spending six months carefully developing their demo, Sect has just began the process of sending it out when they got a call from Third Mind. It turned out that a friend of theirs had made some friends at Go Bang while on a trip to Europe and given them a tape. That label liked it and passed it on to Third Mind.

“It was quite surprising, but we put so much energy into it that we needed it to happen,” says Victory. “It just seemed natural.”

Victory cites a combination of interest in experimental music and acid house as the main motivation for starting up Sect. By spending his days working in a record store and dealing with DJs, he has been able to keep up to date with the constantly changing state of electronic dance music.

“There’s a lot of hybrids,” he says. “There’s enough people involved in music globally that there isn’t a lack of at least one or two interesting combination of styles at least a month, if not a week. Industrial and techno have come together, and I think it’s a little bit more diverse. There are other references to tribal and experimental.”

Sect’s music is created at The Interlab, a collective studio set up by the band members and other electronic musicians in Vancouver. By pooling resources and rotating time, the members have access to a decent recording environment without having to rent an outside studio.

While Victory has performed solo sets in the ambient rooms of clubs and raves, Sect has yet to play out as a band. They don’t rule out live shows, but they don’t see it happening in the immediate future.

“Our images and visions that we have for it are quite grand, so as a matter of realizing it, it’s a little ways off,” explains Victory. “I think that watching electronic music being performed is kind of boring. And we don’t want a vocalist and we don’t want dancers, and basically what we want are 10 x 10 screens with computer graphics on them, and a lot of work needs to go into realizing that.”

Another thing that may not be realized immediately is the group’s interest in making their music an interactive experience. Victory says that he enjoys it when listeners hear Sect’s music and respond to it in ways different from how the group ever intended it. He feels that listeners shouldn’t be stuck with just that artist’s vision but should be able to alter and play with it at will.

“I think that when I was listening to music when I was younger the interpretations that I got from it in contrast with where the people were actually coming from was kind of a great distance,” says Victory. “And I appreciated my own interpretation, or misinterpretation, more than I appreciated the actual truth of the artist. So it’s more of just a doctrine that I’ve expressed to my co-workers and they agree as well.”

Several artists have already created products that allow users to mix and manipulate the music, but for a new band getting such a project off the group would prove difficult.

“In terms of us being able to do it and create it, I don’t think it’s too far of,” says Victory. “In terms of marketing, it’s a little different story.”

One market that Victory does see as being open to interactive music is the DJ industry.

“I listen to DJs criticisms of various new releases,” he explains. “And they’re like ‘oh, if this could be a little higher, or if I could take up those, that kind of thing.”

Like most electronic musicians, Victory doesn’t see himself being limited to his main band. While the new record deal may not allow for it immediately, he does want to get into side projects eventually. Victory says he would like to get into non-dance, soundtrack-style music, an area he is currently playing around with “just to get inspired””

“It would be nice to see an industry start up of various other alternatives for electronic musicians,rather than just a certain set rule,” says Victory on branching out beyond dance music.

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