The mecca of bass music in Denver, known as The Black Box, marks their five year anniversary with two days on November 19-20 showcasing what they are all about. From dubstep, glitch hop, and drum n’ bass to hip-hop, halftime, IDM, and grime, as long as the subwoofers are flexing, it plays. With a cutting edge sound system and impeccable vibes, The Black Box and Sub.mission crew have a lot to be thankful for. Their motto “Moving People Through Sound Not Hype” has proven to withstand the trials and tribulations of being an up and coming venue, and any hype they generate by now is well-deserved. The ringleader of the operation is Nicole Cacciavillano who expressed her excitement about reaching this phase as a venue saying: “This weekend we turn 5! What a whirlwind of emotions! We could not be more grateful to the Colorado community for the love and support! We made it through a freaking pandemic together, stronger than ever!”
As a hub for local and international talent, Sub.mission and The Black Box by extension, is a team with a lot of talent on the roster. It’s no surprise that the squad is thriving. Cacciavillano expounded on the past and future of her passion project: “The first five years we spent learning and growing, and now that we have our feet planted firmly, we have no plans of slowing down! It has always been our .mission to move people through sound. We plan to spend the next five years showcasing underground talent and changing the way Denver views the music industry.”
Some Colorado-based artists like DeniZen and GrymeTyme join the UK’s Broken Note and Seppa for night one of the anniversary celebrations. Half of The Glitch Mob, edIT, is headlining Saturday night, with warm up support from TF Marz, Foxy Dope, and Wicker’s Portal.
The first night of the five year anniversary features a drum n’ bass heavy lineup, including producer/DJ Seppa, who is at the tail end of his Meliora EP US tour. He shed some light on what makes The Black Box so special, performing, and what’s new in the world of bass music.
Rooster: What does it mean to you to play at the Black Box?
Seppa: Playing at The Black Box is always like playing for family. It’s been home base for me and the Slug Wife gang since we first started travelling over here from the UK. The vibe is impeccable, the sound is immaculate and I’m seriously excited to be going in one more time with such good company. It‘s awesome to be playing alongside Broken Note, GrymeTyme and Denizen who are all great people and fantastic artists.
R: Anything special planned for the 5 year anniversary set?
S: I’ve got the excellent Rasp 5 joining me on vocal duties. We’ve been working on an EP together this past year and will be performing the whole thing. It’s always a pleasure to get him involved, and he’s absolutely crushing it right now! I’ve also got plenty of my own dubs and a decent amount of releases I’ve not had the chance to drop in The Black Box yet!
R: Tell us a bit about your latest album.
S: My last release is entitled Meliora, a four tracker featuring a range of styles. The title means “the pursuit of something better” which I think is where we’re all at right now. You can grab it from my Bandcamp (http://seppa.bandcamp.com) and you can also experience an awesome audio-visual version on YouTube featuring the fantastic work of Laia and Tenorless right here: https://youtu.be/ddDktrvgLgc
R: How does the Black Box stack up to other venues you’ve played?
S: There’s a level of quality to the sound at The Black Box that really puts it in its own league. The soundsystem is such an integral part of my performance, and I always know that people will be getting the full experience if they come see me play there. There’s also a real family atmosphere amongst the crew that makes it feel so intimate. I always feel blessed to get up on stage. Nicole and the gang have really created something special for us all to enjoy!
R: What recent trends have you seen emerging in the bass music scene?
S: I’m really enjoying the trend towards higher bpm dance floor music. Drum and Bass is obviously a big part of that, but it opens up avenues to a whole host of music that lives on the faster side of life! I’ve always been a fan of music beyond halftime and 140, and it’s been great to drop elements of Footwork, Jungle, DnB and Hardcore on this latest tour. There’s no way they would have gone down so well the last time I was over!
R: How do you approach playing for an audience at the Black Box compared to other venues?
S: I’m very much of the opinion that you should never underestimate your audience, and The Black Box crowd is definitely a knowledgeable one! I always feel like I can push the limits of what I’m doing and people will be down! I’m excited to show everyone what I’ve been up to since my last visit.
Their calendar features frequent producer workshops and some of the best curated bass music lineups in the world, playing both in the lounge and the main stage. The venue serves as a crucial networking hub for local and touring artists. If you haven’t been to see what all the fuss is about, this is the perfect opportunity to support the local bass music scene.