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Where Kontrol Is the Way of Life

August 29, 1993|KEVIN ALLMAN

At Kontrol Faktory, stripped-down is in and fabulousness is kept to a minimum. There's no valet parking, no VIP room, no dress code.

"Our dress code is five bucks," says club owner Mike Hell. There's even a sign at the door warning, "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone--especially Madonna." (Yes, it happened.)

You won't find Madonna in the deejay booth, either--nor rock, funk, house or disco.

Kontrol Faktory exclusively plays what Hell calls "psybersonik industrial danse musik" from early half-forgotten industrial band Throbbing Gristle to the eternal Revolting Cocks.

Kontrol Faktory opened in December, 1990, at the now-defunct Radio in West L.A., and soon developed a reputation as the destination of choice for industrial music fans.

Since then, it has bounced to locations in Redondo Beach and Long Beach before landing at Probe in Hollywood earlier this year. There are a half-dozen Kontrol Faktory spinoffs around the country, in cities from New York to Greensboro, N.C. "Somebody is opening one in Utah later this year," says Hell.

At the Probe location, a bar area offers comfortable places to sit and talk, but most of the people in the club are on the massive dance floor, where freestyle dancing alternates with slam/moshing. Industrial-style projections of grinding gears flash on the walls.

Attire varies, but you can't go wrong in black. On a recent visit, one woman was a dead ringer for Jayne Mansfield--if the screen goddess had ever shimmied into a skintight black latex dress.

Kontrol Faktory is also ekonomikal . Ads with discount coupons offering $2 admission can be found in alternative publications, and beers are less than a buck if you arrive before 10:46.

Hell hopes club-goers will spend the money they save at the Kontrol Faktory concession stand, which supplies everything you need to complete your Kontrol Faktory lifestyle.

In addition to T-shirts and coffee mugs, the club also sells Kontrol Faktory brand Kandibahrs, as well as its own line of cigarettes (Non Filter Kancer Stix).

Other industrial musts on the way: Kontrol Faktory pocket protectors and mouse pads for your home computer.

* What: Kontrol Faktory

* Where and When: Monday nights 9:30 p.m. to 3 a.m. at Probe, 836 N. Highland, Hollywood.

* Club hot line: (818) 797-7743.

* Doormen: Efficient. No attitude.

* Money Matters: One-year membership, $1. Admission, $4.99. Draft beer, 99 cents before 10:46.

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