The building at 314 E 13th Street on Capitol Hill, was at one time easily recognizable, brightly painted with murals and a large red white and blue sign.  Today, it’s beautiful wood column entrance is flanked by no color at all, in fact if you didn’t know what you were looking for you’d think there was nothing much of interest beyond the door.  That is exactly the intention of Nicole Cacciavillano, founder of promotion company and artist agency Sub.Mission, and now club owner.

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The Lounge at The Black Box Photo Courtesy of: W.W. Photography

Nicole has stated that The Black Box is an extension of Sub.Mission’s objective to “Move People Through Sound Not Hype” and every inch and detail that has gone into the place reflects such a goal.  From the sound system to the decor The Black Box embodies a music and community haven that is meant to provide a platform for underground electronic music producers, performers, and fans. As noted by the venue’s Director of Marketing Corey Pfaff, the most exciting element of The Black Box is that it is “a truly unique, underground atmosphere that you won’t find in any bottle-service club or massive, corporately run venue.” 

I was able to experience Denver’s newest venue for the first time last Saturday for the STYLSS Records Winter Tour Showcase with NastyNasty, Onhell, Sigrah, & CurlyOnE. Upon entry the venue is welcoming, instilling a feeling of community; there is a coat rack where attendees freely hung their winter gear, a water fountain for free water (unfortunately not always a staple in Colorado venues), and booths and tables that establish the smaller narrow room as The Lounge.  Needless to say, the entire venue’s walls are painted only black, however there is art. Interesting stencil work done on street signs and multiple pieces done in black light responsive air brush flank the VIP area in the main room and the DJ booth in the Lounge. The booth in the main room has a massive image of the actors from the Tarantino film Reservoir Dogs, and beyond some selective par can lights set to reds, greens, blues and black light, decoration is minimal.

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Photo Courtesy of: W.W. Photography

Walking through the exquisitely dressed revelers in the smaller room, it is clear the venue is a spot for locals who make up the majority of the talent on the Lounge side.  With a warmed up dance floor and a packed bar, this side of the venue was full at 10pm.  Past the DJ booth in the Lounge are arcade games and a pool table, and an exit past the rest rooms to a small (barely lit) outdoor area for smoking and socializing. 

Environment aside, the focus of this venue is it’s incredible custom sound system.The dual-room (18+) venue is fully equipped with powerful, state-of-the-art Basscouch Sound consisting of a Tannoy, Funktion-One, and Othorn combination.  The speakers in the main room are focal points. Audiophiles and partygoers alike will surely find a haven in The Black Box’s sound.  Last Saturday, headliner NastyNasty and the STYLSS Record Label tour brought their unique and experimental bass music to the Black Box’s larger room and you could hear ever nuance of production, and that is quite a treat.

Sub.Mission has stayed true to it’s mission and roots for many years and with the opening of Black Box it is clear that the formula is working. As stated by Cory Pfaff, “whether it be art, photography, or allowing local crews to come in and host a night of their own in one of our two rooms. The Denver community is full of talented people and we want to ensure they have a home to feature their art.” The Black Box is surly a new home for many in Denver’s underground electronic music community.

Whether you have yet to experience The Black Box or have been every weekend since it opened, we hope you’ll join us this Friday January 20th for the first Souls In Action event at The Black Box featuring Gladkill, M!NT and locals Azon Classic, and TruFeelz, for a night of phenomenal music and community. Tickets available here