The Dark Frontier resonates for a cause

The two-day festival returns to Pehrspace to benefit cancer research.


Photo courtesy of Mountair

Brooks Ginnan, Writer

This weekend, Echo Park’s DIY hotbed Pehrspace will host the second installation of The Dark Frontier. Featuring a diverse lineup of 20 artists and four DJs from throughout Los Angeles and beyond, the festival proceeds will benefit the cancer research of two organizations — the Cancer Research Institute and City of Hope.

Highlighted are merely a few of the great artists to fill Pehrspace with sonic grandeur on Saturday and Sunday.

Ghost Noise

One of LA’s most established and beloved bands in both the goth and DIY scenes, Ghost Noise will perform on Sunday evening. Their tragic blend of synthpop and darkwave spawned a beautiful album last year in “Our Heaven of Darkness,” and their live show is something to not only dance, but cry to. Gawby Weinstein and John Casey Connolly — two-thirds of the band — are also behind the concert series Mountair. Responsible for organizing The Dark Frontier, Mountair have booked great all-ages shows around LA for the past seven years.

The Victoriana

The brainchild of Derek Page, The Victoriana is an incredibly gorgeous project that falls somewhere between the otherworldly bliss of dream pop and brooding theatrics of post-punk. Hailing from Riverside and including members of Cruelty Code and Shojo Winter in their live ensemble, The Victoriana will play Saturday night and are not to be missed. They will also open up for 4AD veterans Modern English at a special show in celebration of the 1981 album “Mesh and Lace” in San Diego next month.

Band Aparte

Recent Manifesto Records signees, Band Aparte — the duo of Brian Mendoza and Tara Jane — have been a mainstay of LA’s macabre underground for quite some time now. Blending masterfully programmed drums with distorted and swirling guitars, a soundtrack of gothic bliss is provided as accompaniment for Mendoza’s commanding vocals, which strikingly echo those of the legendary Peter Murphy. Band Aparte will bring their spirited and impassioned energy to The Dark Frontier on Saturday night as well, preceding The Victoriana at 6:15 p.m.

The Electric West

A band name unfamiliar to me until reviewing the festival’s lineup, The Electric West simply sound huge. The recently released “Death Birds” brings to mind the tribal ferocity of local counterparts Sextile, while using tight grooves and contrasting loud/soft dynamics to create something haunting and eerie. The Electric West will perform on Sunday night of the festival right before Hikikomori brings The Dark Frontier to a triumphant close.

The Dark Frontier will begin at 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 24. Each day will cost $10 for admission.

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