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Local Favorite: Complex plants electronic-music flag in Glendale

The new nightclub between the Glendale Galleria and the 2 Freeway is far enough off the well-traveled club path to feel like a discovery.

March 08, 2013
  • Holly Herndon
Holly Herndon (Suzy Poling )

L.A. electronic musicians have already colonized the northeast L.A. neighborhoods of Lincoln Heights, Mount Washington and Eagle Rock (home to Low End Theory, Stone's Throw and 100% Silk Records, respectively). Now that vibrant scene is sinking its samplers into the badlands of Glendale, with Saturday's opening of the new nightclub Complex.

What: In its previous life as the Scene or LaBrie's — well-intentioned efforts to broaden the city's indie-rock venue coterie — the space never quite became appointment viewing. That might change after its opening salvo as Complex, however. Saturday's soft opening sports a knockout bill of experimental electronic acts that sets big expectations for the venue going forward.

Why: The Highland Park record/fashion/sundries store Mount Analog presents the U.K .ambient-dub producer Andy Stott and the San Francisco-based sound artist Holly Herndon. Over a trio of recent releases (2012's "Luxury Problems" made The Times' best-of-the-year list), Stott's hazy, heavy tunes crawl like someone dying of thirst in a bombed-out cityscape. But they're all so well-produced that his static and reverb hit with unexpected emotion.

The young Herndon comes from an academic musical background (she's up for a doctorate in composition at Stanford), but she's also done time in Berlin's decadent after-hours club scene. Her album "Movement" capably splits the difference, with inventive slices of noise that will still feel sensual and danceable.

Where: Plunked between the Glendale Galleria and the 2 Freeway, Complex is far enough off the well-trod clubland path to feel like a find. If it gets a consistent handle on bookings, it could quickly become a hub for northeast L.A. experimental scenes. Future sets from Kontravoid, Light House, and Mater Suspiria Vision suggest they're well on their way.

Inside: Space, and lots of it. Co-operator John Giovanazzi (of the Mid-City industrial club night Das Bunker) gutted the room, removing the horseshoe-shaped bar and the dropped ceilings to clear the floor for concertgoers and low, comfy couches. The results? Everywhere is a great angle to hear the band or to pitch in on their nerd-trivia contest nights. "We're going to plant a fruit and vegetable garden out back, to serve with our cocktails," Giovanazzi said. "With this space, we wanted to fix everything we didn't like about going to other clubs."

Your Drink: A taste for brain-serrating noise isn't mutually exclusive with an appetite for fine ales. Complex offers a surprisingly deep and adventurous beer menu, with Old Speckled Hen and Oskar Blues G'Knight on tap and Gulden Draak and Monk's Café Flemish Sour Ale in bottles. There are 34 beers altogether, so whether you roll high (Stone Vertical Epic 111111 Red Wine Barrel at $30 a bottle) or low (Miller High Life at $5) you'll find something to get your feet moving.

Complex, 806. E Colorado St., Glendale., 9 p.m. Sat. http://www.complexla.com

— August Brown

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