Techno comes to Glendale

Q&A: Bryan Black, aka Black Asteroid, on learning from Prince and bringing underground sounds to Glendale.

June 28, 2013|By Steve Appleford,
  • Bryan Black, aka Black Asteroid, began his career in Minneapolis working for Prince.
Bryan Black, aka Black Asteroid, began his career in Minneapolis… (Courtesy Black…)

The man who calls himself Black Asteroid wants your attention. The underground techno DJ born Bryan Black is far less interested in dancefloor hypnosis and 10-minute loops to nowhere. When he arrives July 4 at the Complex in Glendale, he will do so with music of genuine songs with surprising shifts in sound and texture to keep his audience alert into the late-night hours of Independence Day.

Black is also one-half of the techno/electro duo Motor, but began his career in his hometown of Minneapolis working for Prince at his Paisley Park Studios. More recently, he's been recruited by Depeche Mode to remix "Soothe My Soul" and other tracks following previous collaborations with the likes of Steve Aoki, Gary Numan and Douglas J. McCarthy of Nitzer Ebb. Depeche Mode is currently playing Black Asteroid music during the pre-show on the band's current world tour.

Black Asteroid is one example of the kind of new music suddenly available in Glendale as a result of Complex opening on Colorado Street. (The DJ also performs July 5 at Das Bunker in Los Angeles, which is run by Complex co-owner John Giovanazzi.) On the phone from a gig this week in the Bahamas, Black talked about his career with Black Asteroid and his mission to bring serious techno to the city.


Have you brought Black Asteroid out to our area much in the past?

I've done two warehouse parties — to go around the 2 a.m. curfew. I played some longer sets in the middle of the night. Those have been really fun. Complex will be with the Function One sound system, which is always a bonus, especially for the kind of music I play.

How is it different to play an established club versus a warehouse party?

You don't have the stress of closing at 1:30 or 2 [a.m.], and the darker kind of music I play just feels better at the later hours of the night. It's not something you do at 11 p.m., get on, get off, get home before the bar closes. It's nice to do the after-hours things. But they're not always legal so you have to worry. The other side of the coin is the Complex, which sounds amazing and is completely legal; you can advertise it. You don't have that fear of being shut down.

What are you going to bring to Glendale?

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