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You know your bassheads, you know your kandi kids, and you know your trance family. But do you know your gravers?

On the surface, rave and goth culture may seem worlds apart. While one is awash with colors, lights and confetti, the other… isn’t. While one champions the tenets of PLUR like the second coming of the Ten Commandments, the other may seem a bit less amicable.

Dig a little deeper, however, and you’ll find a cross-pollination occurring between the two. Take fashion, for instance. Dread falls, corsets, EL wire and light shows are just some staples that can be found in both the rave and goth scenes. While goths have adopted kandi and plush backpacks (once rave-only items), ravers have altered gas masks to create kandi masks and embraced fetish culture and other aspects of industrial life.

Yola Bravo, 23, has been involved in the goth scene for four years now. She went to her first industrial club when she was 19, wholly unprepared for what was to come. “I was dressed in jeans, flats and a button-up,” she says. “I was fresh off of work, and I had no fucking clue where I was at.” Despite not looking her part, Bravo knew she had found her home inside the club.

Two years after falling in love with deep, dark industrial, Bravo ventured out to her first rave: Nocturnal Wonderland 2012. Just like every other graver we talked to, Bravo found the rave culture of love and acceptance simply infectious. “Honestly, I love the vibes when I got to raves, because everybody just loves each other,” she says. “They don’t look at you like they’re going to kill your dog later.”

But make no mistake: At her core, Bravo is still a goth at heart. She even brings ravers to goth clubs, opening their eyes (and ears) to a whole new type of electronic music. “When I go to raves, I talk about the industrial scene a lot,” she says. “I don’t dress like a kandi kid. Instead of trying to be somebody that I’m not, I’m just going to go as I am.”

Like Bravo, Josh Mejia, 25, is also an industrial fan that frequents raves. In August, he decided to go to Basscon by himself, donning full-on goth makeup, Manson contacts, combat boots and gauntlet gloves. “Every other person would stop and ask me, ‘Hey, where’d you get this?’ or ‘What’s that?’” he says. As soon as he spotted other gravers at the show, it was obvious that an unspoken, common bond was present. “We started dancing together and filming ourselves, and there were a lot of people who were looking at us, not knowing what was going on,” he says. “We both knew we come from the same culture.”



There is perhaps no artist who speaks to a larger rave/goth crossover crowd than Darksiderz. Aaron “NecroFlesh” Wallace grew up on an Indian reservation in Nevada, first venturing out to industrial, rock and punk clubs before inevitably discovering raves. Not wanting to pick one experience over the other, he combined his love of industrial, hard dance and death metal to create Darksiderz.

“I kind of just try to do my best to put together all the things I like,” he says—and it’s been working. The energy and pure aggression in his music means Darksiderz shows have now become a hotbed of alternative culture where goths, ravers, metal heads and gravers all join together.


Wallace’s friend and fellow producer Ryle has been in both the rave and goth scenes since the ’90s, listening to everything from Ministry to the Prodigy to Nine Inch Nails. While the crossover between the two scenes is more apparent now, this wasn’t always the case. “My group of friends went to both [rave and industrial] types of shows,” he says, “but we were in the minority and didn’t realize it.”

With more than a few years of experience in both scenes under his belt now, Ryle takes it upon himself to bring industrial to raves. He’ll even feed bass music fiends aggrotech from bands like Combichrist. The result? “It goes off,” he says. “It’s really [Darksiderz’ and my] passion to try and bring those worlds together. I think there’s fans on both sides of the fence that would really enjoy music they’re not being exposed to.”


As artists’ fan bases have grown to include industrial and dance music fans, events that cater to both scenes have also popped up. Hellraiver is a dance party where electronic music meets costume fantasy and experimentation is championed. The event recently added an industrial room to its regular offering of dubstep, hardstyle and electro music, and audiences can’t get enough.

“When asked how our drum & bass and dubstep crowd felt about the added [industrial] room, they usually smiled and replied, ‘Man, I haven’t heard industrial in years; we love it!’” Hellraiver organizer Perish Dignam explains. Just as goths will enjoy dubstep and hardstyle, ravers can be found doing drum & bass-style dancing to industrial music—all at the same event.

“Industrial has come a long way since the experimental, eerie vibrational patterns, abstract noise, erratic beats and weird sounds some may remember it as being,” Dignam says. “The evolution of industrial has grown to be very popular to anyone who enjoys electronically produced music. To us, adding industrial to our hybrid EDM nights just seemed like a natural progression.”

Gravers would agree.


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