[Reviewed by Peter Marks]
One of the few remaining mysteries left in the musical world would be what happened to this band. They emerged from the Vancouver BC scene with this album in 1994 and were one of the finest practitioners of industrial tinged dark techno yet heard. I read no interviews, never heard them in clubs or dreamed of seeing them live. They were, and are, unique. You have to remember that at that time there was a massive divergence going on within the industrial scene, one either continued on the path which techno and it’s evolving cousin drum ‘n bass had laid out or… you embraced guitars. This line was crystallized by Front Line Assembly issuing the ‘Millennium’ single a few months after ‘Telekinetic’ came out. Suddenly, there were two extremely polarized camps. Neither of whom would give an inch.
I was and remain firmly in the techno camp. At that point, a lot of us reasoned that we’d gotten into this type of music as a repudiation of the six stringed demon and the campy bubblegum hell it embodied. Sect came along with perfect timing and demonstrated that you could eschew metal riffs and be every bit as muscular. They weren’t some sort of happy go-lucky bunch, the album cover seethed with alienation and the titles of the songs themselves left no doubt as to what the intention of this band was. It also didn’t hurt that Chris Peterson did some of the engineering on this record, the guy had an ear for what he liked and definitely appreciated what Sect did. John McRae, formerly of Will and later a brief member of Decree provided the artistic direction for the sleeve design. With friends like these, how could anything have stopped them.
Well somehow, some way, something did. After running wild in my ears with their debut they only appeared once more in 1997 with an EP which still sounded like them but which saw the line up diminished from three to pretty much one member. Also, the three songs Sect provided sounded awkward and out of place. They were no longer in the vanguard but were trying to blend in with a lot of other bands at that time who’d discovered what the Swamp Terrorists had known for quite a while: breaks are a fantastic way to increase the overall aggression of your sound. It stung to hear a bunch whose work I’d guarded zealously for all those years giving up the ghost; one didn’t have to lose heart completely however.
Others emerged to continue the work which Sect had begun. In 1995, New Mind carried on with the scalding ‘Zero to the Bone’ while 1996 saw England really come out swinging thanks to a band named Empirion. Of course, there were others who planted this techno/industrial seed as far back as 1991. They were called Solar Enemy but their legacy will have to be covered at a later date. To return to the point: Sect carved out a fantastic collection of tracks, they were high tempo and pissed off but very cold and callous about it. No vocals. No hooks. For guys like myself who had begun to mess about with keyboards and samplers that year what Mike Victory, Jason McEvoy and Bruce Young did was manna from heaven. I can’t thank you guys enough for having the guts to see this through.
Sect also had a heavy science fiction element to what they wrote. As it stated directly on the disc: weknowwearenotalone. The only other guy who was mining this area then would have been Andrew Lagowski. Our trio turned their eyes to the heavens and made sure that whoever else is out there could hear them; intelligent life does indeed dwell upon planet Earth but it has a very strange schedule of release. So what if it was aimed at the dance floor, no one would touch this album. The underground purists (on both sides) despised the high tech approach while your average club goer who was just out to get laid didn’t want to think too much about what they were doing. Have no doubts, Sect were a band who got inside your head and revealed truths. They had an unerring ability to access regions of the mind none of us even suspected we had and they did it all with incredible style; I don’t think they were through, either. What happened, boys?
Sect were one in a million. Where oh where did you go…
Sect – Telekinetic
Third Mind Records – TM 9033 2, Third Mind Records – TM9033.2
CD, Album, 1994