Oh, the icy embrace of dark music.
Just two years after Adam Bravin — aka DJ Adam 12 of She Wants Revenge — and producer Michael Patterson launched their subterranean club night Cloak & Dagger, it has evolved into a festival. Cloak & Dagger – Dusk Till Dawn goes off Friday and Saturday, Oct. 20-21 at downtown’s Globe and Palace theaters. Topped by the Jesus and Mary Chain, KMFDM, She Wants Revenge and Poptone, the lineup also features the likes of TR/ST, Com Truise, the Soft Moon, HEALTH, Cold Cave, the Gaslamp Killer, Mykki Blanco, HO99O9, Drab Majesty, Steve Moore, Nostalghia and Tamara Sky.
And a dress code: black.
||| Tickets: Get passes to Cloak & Dagger here.
More than just a gathering of Goths, Cloak & Dagger (the night and the festival) embraces the dark shades of many genres. What does it sound like? We asked Bravin to make us a playlist that captures the vibe — and also for a little background:
Buzz Bands LA: First, when and how did the Cloak & Dagger night start?
Adam Bravin: Cloak & Dagger started two years ago. My good friend Michael Patterson and I had a few conversations about throwing a night together that included “dark” music, but not just the usual suspects — “dark” music from every genre. Every genre has a darker side to it. We wanted a night that was members-only, no-photos-allowed, and a night where we had a strict dress code of all-black only. We also wanted to have an “immersive” side to the club as well, so we reached out to [photographer/visual artist/writer] Annie Lesser to help write some of the immersive elements in the beginning, and it evolved from there. I had been doing another night in the basement of Pig & Whistle and it just made sense to start the night underground.
In the lineage of popular L.A. club nights, what are some of its predecessors?
Some of the clubs that were influential in terms of how we approached certain aspects of Cloak & Dagger were Henry Peck and Joseph Brooks’ clubs The Veil and Fetish, Bryan Rabin’s club Cherry and the original ’90s incarnation of my hip-hop night AFEX. Also Scream and Fuck were influential as well.
When did you guys get the idea that this might work as a festival?
We were talking about doing a two-year anniversary party at the club, and I called my agent Pete Anderson at APA and asked him if there were any festivals that incorporated the kinds of acts that I played at the club. Not just “goth” or industrial, but hip-hop, dance, noise, house, etc. After doing some research, Pete told me that he couldn’t find any festivals like that and that we should investigate further to see if we can make it happen, which we did. We partnered up with Restless Nites and Spaceland Presents and now we have a festival.
For you, what constitutes “goth” or “dark” music?
It’s a feeling. It could be the track, the lyrics or the vibe. There are plenty of songs that most wouldn’t consider dark or “goth,” like Motown tracks, dancehall or ska, hip-hop. If it makes me feel dark, it fits the vibe of what I play at Cloak & Dagger.
For an outsider who doesn’t know much about this strain of music, or who merely considers it a fashion accessory, how would you describe it?
Listen to the playlist I sent you and I think you’ll understand …
||| Stream: The “Dark Entries” playlist