By Chelsea Booth
“The door is finicky,” someone remarked, as I repeatedly tried to body slam myself into the DIY venue, Trans-Pecos . The show, which was curated by Troy Keon, owner of Brooklyn-based label Color Station , featured: Su Na, BAILE (both who are signed to the label), Gemma, Bedstudy, and the brand new Evolving Traxs. With a line up like that, I was determined to break through that door— I have the bruises to prove it.
The venue, located in Ridgewood, Queens, was small, intimate and dark; lit only by soft, neon-indigo and lime-green stage lights. The crowd appeared as silhouettes; anyone’s face farther than an arms length away was obscured. An undisclosed combination of musty incense filled the room. Plotted plants hung from the ceiling and tropical trees were placed on stage. My eyes slightly stung from an unrelenting fog machine. The words “Destroy Fascism” were etched above the door that lead to the lofty outdoors space behind the venue. The atmosphere seemed straight out of The Twilight Zone and I dug it.
The call of a didgeridoo rang through the room at 8:45pm, successfully communicating to the midsized audience that Evolving Traxs’ set was about to begin. The trio, who are so new that they don’t even appear on the Internet, use a didgeridoo, guitar and DJ equipment to concoct their other-worldly sound. I, along with the rest of the hip, presumably Brooklyn crowd, were transfixed. The didgeridoo player had long dirty blonde hair and sat cross-legged on stage. His face glazed over, often closing his eyes as he effortlessly played his larger than life instrument. As the alien-like didgeridoo reverberated in the room, the DJ focused on beat matching the giant instrument with down tempo hip-hop and funk inspired drums. To top it off, the guitar player, who looked like a drugged-out Ryan Gosling, added smooth and dreamy guitar licks. The combination of these elements was strange — in the most amazing way possible, even when one girl in the audience seemed very confused.
Last night we walked into a room with baby palm trees and palo santo burning. We had a didgeridoo, guitar solos and dancing in what was a beautiful night of community at Trans-Pecos with our friends BAILE, Su Na, Bedstudy, Gemma and Evolving Traxs
Posted by Color Station on Thursday, March 1, 2018
Gemma’s set began at 9:30 with the song “Mentals” from their 2015 album As Ever. Their more traditional setup stood in stark contrast with the previous group. Gemma’s sensual combination of electronic music, funk, dreamy jazz and R&B garnered crowd participation for the first time of the night. The guitarist managed nine different pedals and could really shred. Gemma’s vocalist, Felicia Douglass, was dressed in a powder-blue striped jumpsuit, which matched her shimmering blue eye shadow. She commanded the stage and bopped side to side as she sang, “While while blues tastes sweet / On me. On me.” in her unique soft jazzy voice. “They are great,” I said to my friend as we stood at the side of the stage. We peered at the crowd and it seemed like they nodded in agreement.
BAILE emerged on stage around 10:40. With the venue now packed, the stakes were high, but god damn did BAILE deliver. The combination of live drums mixed with BAILE’s brand of down-tempo and melancholic electronica got the crowd going, which for a Wednesday night, is no easy feat. The techno, ambient, and deep house influenced dance music was infectious and people abandoned the bar to take part in the magic. Towards the middle of his set, BAILE brought out Felicia Douglass (of Gemma), who now appeared with a darker façade to lend her vocals and star-like stage presence. The two have great musical chemistry, which can be heard on all the tracks they have collaborated together on.
What a great time playing at @trans.pecos last night 🙌🎉🙌 It was a pleasure sharing the stage w/ @gemmagroovs, @suna_us & @bedstudy __\____ Special thanks to @feldou & @matt_arbeiter for playing with me & turning my production into magic 🔮 and to @colorstation_ for putting on a show with such great vibes ✌️ __\____ 📽: @colorstation_
A little after 11pm, Su Na opened his set with one of my favorite songs, “Cycle” from his epic EP Coral Angel. I could feel the bass rumble in my chest. The crowd started to thin out, retreating outside to escape the now, steamy and foggy room. Only a few dedicated fans, myself included, stayed to watch. Su Na maneuvered and manipulated his equipment with a humbling swagger. He only broke his concentration to exchange a smile with someone who was enjoying themselves as much a he was. I wished more people stayed to witness his effortless and immense talent.
Admittedly, my friends and I left after Su Na and right before Bedstudy came on. All of us had class at 9am and a long ride home. It wasn’t an easy choice. I kind of get the feeling that leaving Trans-Pecos is never an easy choice. As hard as it was to break through that door to get into the show, it was even harder to leave.