Featured photo: BRAXX.
Given how music opens the connection to the soul, artists and their fanbases must represent the body. Promotional companies, then, are the heartbeat of the music industry. These are the local street teams, the social media hustlers, the business negotiators, the backstage bookers, and talent scouters — all working tirelessly at their tiers with management teams, venues, press, and so on to bring fans their favorite music. However, promotional companies often get overlooked by music goers, outshined by big names and line-ups. They don’t much care for the spotlight though, and they definitely don’t do it for the money. They do it all for the love of music.
That’s why CE is proud to present our Promo Spotlight series, where we scour the United States for local promotional companies to shine a light on the people working behind the scenes of music. They are, for all intents and purposes, music’s beating life force.
As more and more live events return, the vision of a post-COVID world is becoming a more likely reality by the day. In Denver, the legendary Red Rocks Amphitheatre has already re-opened at full capacity, much to the dismay of local neighbors. But the greater Denver area is so much more than this powerhouse outdoor arena where music’s brightest shining commercial stars often come to headline. Known as the “bass capital” of the United States, there is a thriving underground electronic scene in every pocket of the city. Nestled right in the center of town, a few blocks from Denver’s famed Colfax Avenue, The Black Box has become home to many bass music-loving locals as well as a coveted hot spot for traveling underground artists.
At The Black Box, it’s all about the music. As Denver’s devoted home for underground music, the unassuming venue is built from the ground up to promote sound system culture. Under the humble direction of local heroine and well-known dubstep queen, Nicole Cacciavillano, and primarily booked by her powerhouse booking team at Sub.mission, The Black Box is driven by same mission: “the potential for moving people through sound, not hype.”
Dating all the way back to 2007, Cacciavillano’s sole mission has always been to bring dubstep to America and her booking and management company, Sub.mission, was one of the first to do this. So much so that she’s played a huge role in why Denver has been nicknamed “the bass capital of the world.”
Cacciavillano had already claimed weekly club nights at Denver’s top music venues for years— from Cervantes to the once-infamous Beta Nightclub. So opening her own space was the natural next step. Boasting the best sound system in town with state-of-the-art Funktion-Ones, Nicole describes the music one hears at Black Box as the music that’ll be “playing at Red Rocks in however many years. We’re just ahead of the game.”
CE even got the chance to talk to Cacciavillano in our Mental Health Month special podcast episode of Wide Awake Radio, which arose naturally out of her Women’s History Month featurette, where we named her a Top Industry Female Powerplayer. For anyone paying attention, Nicole is changing the industry game one show at a time.
DJs who’re passing through town are even lining up to attend Black Box shows, even if they aren’t booked. While nearly every artist will tell you they’ll know they’ve “made it” when they play the iconic Red Rocks, every bass music producer says their dream is to play The Black Box.
As The Black Box describes on their website, the venue is meant to be a place of “refuge from the every day,” “a home for experimentation and heartfelt emotion,” and “a haven for artists, audiophiles, and partygoers alike.” One need only look to the social page of any underground artist whose played the venue and they’ll probably see a picture of them in front of the venue under their name in the marquee. It’s become a bit of a right-of-passage even.
“Our mission is simple, we are here to move people thru sound. We host a wide range of genres, allowing patrons from all walks to experience the power of music on a proper sound system. The dual room venue is fully equipped with the powerful, state-of-the-art Basscouch Sound consisting of a Tannoy, Funktion-One, and Othorn combination.”
It’s this mission that Cacciavillano’s team holds close to their hearts— and one that is so powerfully authentic and rooted so deeply into its core, that The Black Box has thrived pre- and post-COVID. For these reasons, and so many more, the folks behind Denver’s Black Box eat, sleep, and breathe what it means to be a part of CE‘s Promotional Spotlight: They are, for all intents and purposes, music’s beating life force.
Just have one look through their show docket for July and August—which includes Honeycomb, Hullabalo0, Pushloop, Black Carl!, and a Subsciety x Mean Mug takeover, to name a few—to see why The Black Box is an incubator for thriving underground bass.
Upcoming Events at The Black Box:
Every Tuesday – Sub.mission Electronic Tuesdays (11 years and running)
Every Wednesday – WIP Wednesdays Open Decks
Every Sunday – The Brunch Box w/ all:Lo Collective & Friends
July 8 – Gaddy & Tygris
July 9 – Sunken Frequencies & Serious Jorge
July 10 – Thug Scouts w/ Honeycomb
July 17 – Sub.mission Takeover w/ Mikrodot
July 18 – Slow It Down Sunday w/ Nebula & Noelle
July 23 – Pushloop w/ Partywave, Cloud-D
July 24 – Keep It Deep: Father, Peter Vaughan, Jouska
July 30 – ZIIM & Widow
July 31 – potions w/ Saka
July 31 – VIBeRATION: Valerie Molano & Azon Classic
August 3 – Joe Nice
August 3 – Sub.mission Electronic Tuesday: Joe Nice w/ Necromancer
August 5 – Quite Right Records: Wot U Know Bout Garridge?
August 5 – Subciety x Mean Mug Music Takeover
August 7 – Sin7 & Friends: Contra Scandal, Gahlaktus, ABM Crew
August 12 – Bass Boss Records: Yoko, Coffey ft. RedEyez, Dizzy, Milla, Stupid
August 14 – Hullabalo0 w/ Cut Rugs
August 27 – Black Carl! w/ Protial, NIK P, Prosper.
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