Cleopatra Records

Cleopatra Records[1] is a Los Angeles-based independent record label founded in 1992 by entrepreneur and music fan Brian Perera. It has since grown into a family of labels, including Hypnotic Records,[2] Purple Pyramid Records, Deadline Music Records;[3] and X-Ray Records,[4] encompassing a variety of genres with emphasis on unique and experimental artists.

Cleopatra Records
Cleopatra Records LOGO.jpeg
FounderBrian Perera
Distributor(s)The Orchard
Country of originUnited States
LocationLos Angeles, California


Cleopatra Records has been primarily known for ushering in the second wave of gothic and industrial music with a roster of artists including Christian Death, Nosferatu, Switchblade Symphony, Leæther Strip, The Electric Hellfire Club, Razed In Black, X Marks the Pedwalk, Spahn Ranch, Genitorturers, Download (featuring members of Skinny Puppy) and others as well as New Wave artists Gary Numan, Missing Persons, Information Society and others.

Cleopatra has also been a vital force in promoting underground and British punk rock bands such as The Vibrators, UK Subs, The Damned, as well as dozens of smaller bands that had never before been released in the U.S. market.

When the revival of 1980s Hollywood metal exploded around the turn of the century, the company started a subsidiary label Deadline Music to handle releases by Quiet Riot, White Lion, Warrant, Cinderella, Bret Michaels and Hollywood Rose.

Partnering with European labels such as Lifted Music and minHard Records, Cleopatra established the Hypnotic imprint for a series of electronic music compilations as well as full-length albums by Future Sound Of London, Paul Oakenfold, Superstar DJ Keoki, and Talla 2XLC as well as the feature-length documentary on rave culture Better Living Through Circuitry. Most recently, Hypnotic has been the home of Blackburner.

Hip hop acts have also found a home at Cleopatra Records on the X-Ray imprint, which has released albums by SX-10 (featuring Sen Dog of Cypress Hill), KRS-One, Westside Connection, and DMX. X-Ray Records achieved a first for Perera and the Cleopatra family in 2005 when its release It's Not a Game by Layzie Bone landed on the Billboard 200.

The Purple Pyramid Records imprint, focusing on progressive rock as well as psychedelic music, has been long-time home to releases by Yes, Rick Wakeman, Steve Howe, Santana, Amon Düül II, Nektar, Brainticket, Tangerine Dream, and Quicksilver Messenger Service.

Recent activity

In recent years, the Cleopatra label group has expanded in a variety of directions, working with Sly Stone and William Shatner. Producer/musician Billy Sherwood spearheaded two new projects for the label dubbed The Prog Collective, featuring members of Asia, King Crimson, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Gong and others, and The Fusion Syndicate, featuring Rick Wakeman, Steve Stevens, Billy Cobham, Steve Morse, and others. The label continues to work closely with the prog rock band Nektar, releasing a 2-CD box set called Retrospektive in 2011, the covers album Spoonful Of Time in 2012 and Time Machine, in 2013 alongside reissues of the band's older albums. In 2013, Eli Cook signed a recording contract with Cleopatra Records.[5] Cook's most recent album, Primitive Son (2014), contained guest appearances by Vinny Appice and Artimus Pyle (drums); Tinsley Ellis, Eric Gales, Leslie West, Pat Travers and Harvey Mandel (guitar); Sonny Landreth (slide guitar); Rod Piazza (harmonica); and Reese Wynans (Hammond B3 organ). The album was co-produced by Cook.[6] In 2018 Cleopatra signed BAT![7], an all-star Psychobilly group consisting of members of Nekromantix, The Brains, Stellar Corpses and Rezurex[8].

Avant Garde

Cleopatra remains a champion of avant garde, underground music such as Brainticket who re-released their catalog through Cleopatra, and was even brought over for their first US tour in 2011 as part of Cleopatra’s Space Rock Invasion Tour. San Francisco noise-art band Chrome also saw Cleopatra release numerous reissues of the band's late 1970s and early 1980s output on both vinyl and CD over the last few years, culminating with 7 LP vinyl box set, a reissue and expanded version of Chrome Box. And Amon Düül II partnered with Cleopatra in 2014 for a series of deluxe, limited edition vinyl reissues of such albums as Yeti, Phallus Dei, Wolf City, and others, along with the group's latest Düülirium, released in June 2014.

Dubstep, Psych space and more

Blackburner has been releasing new music at a fast clip, most recently earning the top spot on Beatport’s Dubstep chart for the song "Drop Bass Not Bombs" from the album of the same name. Cleopatra also released albums from Bonfire Beach, Fantome (featuring Hanin Elias of Atari Teenage Riot), Siena Root, and Requiem (featuring Steven Juliano of I Am Ghost) as well as working with psych-space bands such as The Black Angels, Allah-Las, The Raveonettes, Psychic Ills, and The Vacant Lots.


Cleopatra owner Brian Perera has also been known as a champion of Hawkwind. Cleopatra released the final album by original Hawkwind guitarist Huw Lloyd-Langton, a 2CD collection of rare tracks and new recordings, before his death in 2012. The label is again working with another Hawkwind alum Nik Turner. His album Space Gypsy was released in September 2013.


Finally, Cleopatra has another film project currently in development, a sequel to the 2012 horror musical The Devil's Carnival, directed by writer/director of Saw II-IV. The sequel, entitled The Devil's Carnival: Alleluia, will star Paul Sorvino and David Hasselhoff.


New Red Archives

In 2012 Cleopatra, expanding its interest in punk, acquired the entire catalog of releases by New Red Archives,[9] formerly owned by Nicky Garratt of UK Subs. The label was home to first wave punk group UK Subs, metallic hardcore pioneer Hogan's Heroes, the debut album of political punk group Anti-Flag, early 1980s New York hardcore groups Reagan Youth and Kraut the first independent group ever in rotation on Mtv , as well as an early project from Sunny Day Real Estate / Foo Fighters bassist Nate Mendel called Christ On A Crutch.

Wax Trax!

The label acquired the complete Wax Trax! recordings of Al Jourgensen, including several unreleased Ministry songs as well as albums by Revolting Cocks, 1000 Homo DJs, PTP, Pailhead (with Ian MacKaye), and Acid Horse. A 7-CD box set of these recordings (entitled Trax! Box) was released in April 2015. Meanwhile, Cleopatra has continued to work with established artists such as Missing PersonsDale Bozzio, Thor, The Oak Ridge Boys, Shuggie Otis, and Popa Chubby and Eric Gales.

Cleopatra Blues

When Los Angeles-based independent record label Cleopatra Records, Inc.[10] began attracting talent from modern blues artists and purchased the estate of Junior Wells, the company decided to create a label dedicated to the genre. Cleopatra Blues [11] was established in 2015, using a logo based on a well-known photo of Junior Wells smoking a cigarette.[12]

The label has become a home for modern blues acts as Popa Chubby, Eric Gales, James Montgomery,[13] Leo Welch, and Lance Lopez[14] as well as up-and-coming blues artists such as Eli Cook and British prodigy Tom Killner.

Louisiana blues artist Kenny Neal raised the profile of the label considerably with the release of his solo album, 2016’s Bloodline,[15][16] which was nominated for a Grammy Nominees (Grammy Nominees#2016) in the category of Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Blues Album.[17]

Saxophone player Big Jay McNeely [18] joined the label in 2016 for his release Blowin’ Down The House - Big Jay’s Latest & Greatest [19] and will also be releasing a live CD & DVD called Honkin’ & Jivin’ At The Palomino in 2017.

A box set featuring unreleased tracks the label acquired in its purchasing of the Junior Wells estate is set to be released in 2017.

Cleopatra Entertainment

Cleopatra Entertainment is the film division of long time L.A.-based indie label Cleopatra Records, most known for promoting dark and experimental music. Beginning in 2015, the company has distributed, developed, and produced several films most of which have a strong horror and/or music component. The company has focused primarily on the home video market through partnerships with NY-based film distributor The Orchard as well as AMPED Music Distribution, and MVD Entertainment Group. However, recent projects have shown that the company is capable of theatrical distribution as well.

Cleopatra Entertainment officially began in 2015 with the U.S. release of the documentary/concert film about German heavy metal band Scorpions called Forever And A Day. This was followed in August of the same year by the company’s first major production, Alleluia! The Devil's Carnival, the second installment of the cult horror musical franchise from director Darren Lynn Bousman (director of several installments in the Saw ) and writer Terrance Zdunich (of Repo! The Genetic Opera ). In addition to financing the film, Cleopatra produced the Blu-ray and DVD releases and also released the official CD soundtrack, which included all of the musical numbers from the film featuring likes of Paul Sorvino, Barry Bostwick, David Hasselhoff, Ted Neeley, rap icon Tech N9ne, Emilie Autumn, Adam Pascal, Butcher Babies, Nivek Ogre, and more!

In 2016, Cleopatra Entertainment released its second music documentary to the home video market, this one about UK punk band The Damned, called Don’t You Wish That We Were Dead, which premiered a year earlier at the SXSW Film Festival.

Cleopatra Entertainment also purchased the vampire thriller Blood Trap, starring Gianni Capaldi , Costas Mandylor, and Vinnie Jones, and released it to the home video market in October of that year. Also in October 2016, Cleopatra brought the twisted romantic comedy StalkHer starring Australia’s John Jarratt (of Wolf Creek) and Kaarin Fairfax, to US audiences. Finally, the company will also see a theatrical release for the heartwarming, real-life story of a man and his cat, A Street Cat Named Bob, based on the best-selling book of the same name by James Bowen.

Coming productions for the company include more thrillers such as The Devil’s Domain (starring Michael Madsen), The Black Room (starring Lin Shaye), and The 27 Club (based on the well-known "27 Club" legend). 2017 will also bring dramatic offerings including, Steven, the biopic of Smiths frontman Morrissey and, "Street Survivors", the harrowing true story of the 1977 plane crash that forever changed Southern Rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd, co-written by Skynyrd drummer Artimus Pyle, one of the few members who survived the plane crash.

See also


  1. ^ Cleopatra Records Cleopatra Records :: Navarre Corp. Announces Contract Extension with Cleopatra Records Retrieved February 27, 2012
  2. ^ "Hypnotic Records :: Beatport Pro". Retrieved 2015-03-28.
  3. ^ "Cleopatra Records - Encyclopaedia Metallum". 2013-04-01. Retrieved 2015-03-28.
  4. ^ "Cleopatra Records : Store | Product Categories Archive | Record Label". 2013-10-17. Retrieved 2015-03-28.
  5. ^ "Bio". Archived from the original on 2016-02-08. Retrieved 2016-01-04.
  6. ^ "Primitive Son - Eli Cook | Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-01-04.
  7. ^ "Cleopatra Records Artists".
  8. ^ "BAT! Official".
  10. ^ "Founder of Cleopatra Records, Brian Perera talks about the philosophy and mission of label based in LA".
  11. ^ "Cleopatra Blues". Discogs.
  12. ^ "Blues Legend Junior Wells' Estate Entrusted to Cleopatra Records".
  13. ^ "The James Montgomery Blues Band". 15 December 2016.
  14. ^ "Top 5 Live Albums of 2016".
  15. ^ "Roots Music report".
  16. ^ Wirt, John. "No rest needed: How Kenny Neal worked his way to a Grammy nomination". The Advocate.
  17. ^ "Here Is the Complete List of Nominees for the 2017 Grammys".
  18. ^ Whiteside, Jonny (8 December 2016). "Veteran Saxophone "Honker" Big Jay McNeely Can Still Blow Them Away".
  19. ^ "2017 Living Blues Awards - Living Blues Magazine". 31 July 2017.

External links

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.