By Abbie Gobeli
On the weekend of October 20th in downtown Los Angeles, Cloak & Dagger: Dusk Till Dawn shrouded the Globe and Tower Theaters into a vision of night. Doors flooded with patrons dressed in pitch black to see an array of musically dark artists from institutions like The Jesus and Mary Chain, emerging outfits like Tropic of Cancer, and prominent producers like Cocteau Twins' and Nine Inch Nails' producer John Fryer spin a DJ set. Cloak & Dagger: Dusk Till Dawn’s line-up and dress code were curated by Los Angeles based, members-only club: Cloak & Dagger. Initiated by the band members of She Wants Revenge, Cloak & Dagger is normally a regular Tuesday night invitation for members to leave reality and explore the dark side of music with good company. No phones. Wear black or you will be turned away. For the festival, your overnight DJs (and not so secret goth kids) Atticus and I (Abbie) delved into this blissful music scene to give you the highlights of their the club’s first festival.
Day one of Cloak & Dagger: Dusk Till Dawn festival clashed together gems all across genres that apply a “dark” lens to their work. New Jersey’s thrashing hip hop group, H09909 (pronounced “HORROR”) emerged on the Globe stage with theOGM in a wedding dress and Eaddy in a red splattered white suit. They reeled in industrial-styled rap matched with the aggressive percussion creating a sound from selections like “War is Hell” and “United States of Horror” that propelled mosh pits where Eaddy happily jumped over the barricade to join the audience. No bruises were endured in this delightful mosh playground.
Local LA group HEALTH have perfected their intense death pop upon the release of Death Magic in 2015 and shared new remixes from their EP DISCO3. The heart resuscitating bass and attacking strobe lights solidified their adrenaline infused performance. How could you not feel awake with all of that brilliant sensory information coming at you?
Headliner and shoegaze royalty The Jesus and Mary Chain drew everyone in with their classic tracks “Head On” and “Just Like Honey” along with new material from the new record that prompted their return, Damage and Joy. Canadian artist TR/ST closed out the night with dancey goth-tinged pop.
Day two did not disappoint at all with goth industrial outfit Sextile, introspective techno of Matteo Vallicelli, and the return of Cold Cave. Ultimately, the project of Luis Vasquez, The Soft Moon stole the night. Ripping across his catalog from “Breathe the Fire” to “Far”, The Soft Moon revealed a combination of machinery, primal howls, and various percussion ranging from bongos to a large trash can with an impressive dent across the rim. Vasquez’s vocals disappear behind a hazy fuzz and at times fall off altogether to create a range of dynamic internal struggle. After three full-lengths on Captured Tracks, he has signed to Sacred Bones Records (an ideal fit) and will be releasing his new record, Criminal, on February 2nd.
All the way from Copenhagen, Lust for Youth is the new wave of new wave. The trio encapsulated us with bright synth and flashing blue and white visuals that brought out the dreaminess of “Tokyo” and “Armida”. Also, there was a questionable fourth member who sat in a chair behind frontman Hannes Norrvide while eating a banana juxtaposed to the band. Supergroup Poptone (featuring Daniel Ash and Kevin Haskins of Bauhaus/Tones on Tail/Love & Rockets) closed out the night with their version of the dancey 1984 Tones on Tail track “Go!” shortly followed by Cloak & Dagger curators, She Wants Revenge.
The first Cloak & Dagger festival was a successful blend of various sects of darkness highlighting post-punk, experimental hip-hop, industrial dance, goth, and the murky depths in between. The weekly members-only club has brought together a community centered around this music drawing in all timelines and interests alike. I cannot wait to see what darkness they bring next October.
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