Who's putting out what and why

By Kimberly Reyes
Updated December 13, 2002 at 05:00 AM EST

THE LABEL Cleopatra Records ESTABLISHED January 1992 AESTHETIC Years after the Bat Cave bled dry, then-26-year-old Brian Perera founded Marina Del Ray, Calif.-based Cleopatra as a way to satiate the Goth- and industrial-music-thirsty masses. Perera’s strategy was to license the catalogs of known bands like Motorhead and the Damned to lure fans to sample from his fresh palette of gloom-and-doom acts like Rosetta Stone and Big Electric Cat. ESSENCE Diversity: Cleopatra’s recent shift from Goth sanctuary to haven for everything from reggae (Bob Marley) to electronica (Future Sound of London) has as much to do with its eclectic sub-labels — Stardust, Deadline, and X-Ray — as it does with the changing preferences of Cleopatra’s core audience. ”If you go into Goth clubs today,” Perera says, ”you don’t really hear stuff that doesn’t have electronics in it.” ESSENTIALS Gothic Rock (2001), a six-disc set of Cleopatra’s finest frowners; and Switchblade Symphony’s Serpentine Gallery (1995), the darkwave divas’ debut and still the label’s top seller. EXPECT… A retro-electro compilation, early 2003 on sub-label Hypnotic, featuring Felix da Housecat and Ladytron.