The fire believed to have killed at least 24 people in an Oakland warehouse on Friday night occurred at a concert featuring artists on a Los Angeles-based label called 100% Silk. The label, however, emphasized in a statement released Saturday night that it was not officially the promoter of the show.
Though details of the incident are still emerging, the blaze broke out at an artists’ space as part of an event called Golden Donna 100% Silk West Coast Tour.
Golden Donna is a stage name for Wisconsin-based producer Joel Shanahan. He was to perform with label-mates Cherushii, Nackt and others. The event’s location was announced on Facebook just hours before the party, and 285 people checked in on the social media platform as attending.
Golden Donna’s Facebook page posted a statement on Saturday that read, “Joel is safe but like many people he is heartbroken and has several friends among the missing. Please refrain from messaging this page or Joel’s personal channels unless you have information on the Oakland fire victims. Sending love to everyone affected by this horrific event.”
Last week, Golden Donna performed at a downtown Los Angeles club called Werk.
The 100% Silk imprint has played a crucial role in the development of independent electronic dance music in Los Angeles. Its parties around the area have drawn a wide mix of stylish, artistically minded enthusiasts.
The label was formed by the married team of Amanda and Britt Brown, whose early project Pocahaunted was a collaboration with Bethany Cosentino. Cosentino later left the band to form her own project, the successful Los Angeles band Best Coast.
In a statement on Facebook, the couple said, “What happened in Oakland is an unbelievable tragedy, a nightmare scenario. Britt and I are beside ourselves, utterly devastated. We are a very tight community of artists and we are all praying, sending love and condolences to everyone involved and their families.
“Thank you for everyone who’s been reaching out, we are hoping so hard for the best. We will be posting here on how you can help, and any information as it comes to us.”
In a later post, 100% Silk clarified that although its name was listed on the flier, it was not involved in any aspect of the party.
“This is a time of horrible indescribable grieving, but in case it is unclear: 100% Silk did not organize, host, promote, or have any involvement in this tragic event beyond releasing music by some of the artists involved. A discussion about venue safety is valid but would be more meaningful conducted elsewhere.”
The Browns formed 100% Silk as a dance music offshoot after the acclaim for their experimental label Not Not Fun earned it a small but devoted following. 100% Silk specializes in underground house music, and unlike many contemporary electronic music imprints has found success through issuing vinyl 12-inch vinyl singles and cassette tapes.
“The underground is obviously overlooked from a mainstream perspective,” Amanda Brown said in an interview with the Red Bull Music Academy in 2012, “but within the underground, dance is just now finally being given the floor, the opportunity to excite people who would normally mock it for not being ‘weird’ or ‘outsider’ enough. I wanted to help propel underground dance because I feel like we’re on the brink of another golden era.”
The imprint recently celebrated its 100th release with a cassette compilation called “Sensate Silk.”
It’s also known for intimate warehouse parties, the kind that draw a wide mix of twenty- and thirtysomethings interested in dancing not at mega-raves like Electric Daisy Carnival, but on tiny, packed dance floors.
Events of similar size occur across Los Angeles every weekend. Law enforcement crackdowns and press scrutiny of raves such as Electric Daisy Carnival and Hard have led some partygoers to avoid the hassle by retreating into less conspicuous — and often unlicensed and uninsured — spaces.
The post will be updated with new developments.
Follow Randall Roberts on Twitter: @liledit
9:55 a.m. This article was updated with a new statement from 100% Silk clarifying that it did not promote the event in an official capacity.