Lessons in Local Electro from Team Pegasus

Kat Taylor / October 11, 2011

Seattle-based art collective Team Pegasus has released their first of a series of digital mix tapes available for download online. Team Pegasus Mix Tape #1: NW Electro features independent artists in Seattle and Portland loosely pulled together by an affinity for a new wave of poppy glitch with a gritty edge.

The electro genre has grown and morphed over the years, sacrificing some of the repetitive speed, darkness, and noise for a healthy balance of rock ‘n roll drum beats, guitar licks, and synths. This collection could also be classified as “digital indie rock” for the heavy attention paid to lyrics and vocal arrangements as it sets itself apart from the over-arching dance music super-genre. Most of the tracks are new and/or unreleased, so even the most active electronic audiophiles will discover something new.

The collection starts with a slow, slightly spooky, and appropriately titled track called “Lady Frankenstein” by Josh & Anand. Things stay on the mellow, lo-fi trail with Jazzyspoon’s darkly paradoxical “Perfectly Flawed.” Before listeners start asking, “Why so serious?” Secret Shoppers lift the mood and Strong Like Woman brings some bouncy quirk to the mix.

Glitterbang sounds like an extension of the popular 2003 Postal Service album, Give Up. Somewhat surprisingly, many of the songs in this mix sound more in sync with the Postal Service vibe than the offering from ex-Postal Service member Jen Wood. “Keep Your Head Up” from Wood’s latest project, Little Fang doesn’t contain many elements of electronic music at all. Although it’s a relaxing, pretty song, one can’t help but think of all the pop duets gracing Top 40 radio in the 90s. Despite being musically strong, Wood’s reputation seems to precede her in this instance.

The mix ebbs and flows, but the standouts tend to appear in groups. Later in the mix, Magic Pink’s robotic “Human Interference” features a vengeful fembot chanting “We are human / This is the end.” As the song implies, its placement near the midway point could be a warning or a promise. “Summertime” by Square Wail wins the glitch award with an impressive arrangement of 8-bit samples and muffled vocals. Clutch Douglas brings one of the more dance-worthy tracks with “Get Juicy.” An hour of this would warm up any dancefloor, and Seattle will have a chance to see them in action at their release party on October 19th.

Wrapping up the mix is The Way We Were in 1989 with the melancholic “Cliffs of DubLand,” featuring a banjo and an accordion (no bagpipes!) and the cadence of a traditional of an Irish hymnal. If they hadn’t performed on a Seattle rooftop (warning: vintage effects, hipster overload possible), you’d never know they were local.

Overall, this anticipated mix provides a solid crash course in the local music scene for both rock and electronic lovers. Serving up a healthy combination of fast and slow, glitchy and smooth, and pretty and gritty, Team Pegasus is scene-conscious addition to your music library.

Catch some of the artists from the mix live at the Team Pegasus Mix Tape Release Party on Friday November 18th at the White Rabbit in Fremont. The lineup is slated to include Strong Like Woman, Werebearcat!, Square Wail, The Way We Were in 1989, and Hair Envelope.

Mix Tape Contributing Artists:
Josh & Anand (Seattle, WA)
Clutch Douglass (Seattle, WA)
Secret Shoppers (Seattle, WA)
Strong Like Woman (Seattle, WA)
Glitterbang (Seattle, WA)
Jazzyspoon (Seattle, WA)
Werebearcat! (Seattle, WA)
Mattress (Portland, OR)
Little Fang (Seattle, WA)
Hair Envelope (Seattle, WA)
Magic Pink (Portland, OR)
Square Wail (Seattle, WA)
The Way We Were in 1989 (Seattle, WA)

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