On Tuesday Feburary 5th, Pegasus Warning played Cameo Gallery along with Gordon Voidwell and Tecla.
It was quite a family affair as members of all three bands used to perform together as Gordon Voidwell, but they were also on hand to celebrate the release of the Woof Ticket EP, the first release from Pegasus Warning, an electronic soul outfit fronted by multi-instrumentalist Guillermo E. Brown.
It would be very easy to cast Pegasus Warning as a band that straddles Alt-R&B with the likes of Weeknd, Frank Ocean or How to Dress Well alongside bass music by producers such as FaltyDL and others who produce a warm and inviting soundscape with clean and comforting bass tones. While those elements are present in Woof Ticket, they're not the only fragments you'll find. The rhythms can at time pull from a strong bebop tradition (you can compare “Nothing2show” to the rolls and stabs you'll find on Art Blakey's 1960s output which is just an excuse for you to listen to “Freedom Rider” a million times) and there is a strong glitch sound as stabs and effects will come in for a bar or phrase then vanish, in a way reminiscent of UK Hardcore and IDM informed by that era (compare Pegasus Warning's amazing love song “Trysohard” to Aphex Twin's “Windowlicker”).
Woof Ticket is so good it makes me wish I hadn't ignored previous videos and songs as they were praised by friends of Guillermo E. Brown and I would highly suggest you pick up the EP for free right now while you can from Plug Research.
Before Pegasus Warning was Tecla, the musical project of Tecla Esposito which allowed her to do everything from rap, to socially conscious pop songs that pulled musically from latin freestyle, hip hop, and at times, elements of punk's consciously sloppy performance. Yet, it was all done with the singular-guiding vision of Tecla. Her set on Tuesday night, however, was a radical evolution from these roots. Joined onstage by Kassa Overall, her songs became writhing sensual beasts whose percussive swing hit at the hip and led the audience to jump and sway. Tecla remarked that her new album had half of its songs produced by Kassa and the other half by Guillermo E. Brown. I think that these partnerships were extremely fruitful because they allowed Tecla to reach places she had been unable to previously. Her new album is coming out soon and you should keep an eye out for it.
Opening the show was Gordon Voidwell, a solo set by Will Johnson, working with sequencers, effects and looping to create full songs from his catalog a cappella similar to comedian/musician, Reggie Watts. These were fully formed songs with many different layers which Johnson built from percussion, to backing vocals, to melody, that he would then cut out or re-sequence to tease out the full track from these elements. It was a new aspect of Gordon Voidwell which I hadn't seen before and it was obvious that Will was early in exploring this as it wasn't as clean as it could have been and he spent quite a bit of time building the tracks into recognizable songs by adding a few minutes to the length of everything. If nothing else, it was a very interesting performance experiment and I'm curious to see if it continues.