Introducing labels: Other Electricities

We have started a series where we introduce indie labels. They will recommend 3 releases from their catalog and share 3 things they have learned by running the label

Other Electricities is a Miami-based record label run by Emile Milgrim (Las Nubes / Miami Girls Rock Camp / Archival Feedback).

3 Releases:

Low Low Low La La La Love Love LoveEnds Of June (2007)

And the prize for “longest name for a non post-rock band” goes to… Seriously though, what were they thinking? They weren’t, well, not about that. Low Low (as we ended up abbreviating it) were too busy writing some of the best lo-fi- folk rock of their time. They were also engineering, recording and mixing it themselves, plus creating all the varied artwork and visuals/videos – and it was all amazing. OE ended up releasing their entire catalog, even after they’d called it quits. If more material were to mysteriously surface now, I’d still go into further debt to release it.  

BajaAether Obelisk (2009)

Baja (Daniel Vujanic) was looking into the future from the very early aughts. His stunning visions mixed organic and electronic styles and genres into mind-boggling collections closely resembling the now-lauded “future jazz” movement. The artwork styles non-ironically leaned toward early internet/video game colors and compositions, which somehow complemented the sophistication of the music despite seeming inconsequential or even hokey at first glance. This was our second Baja release and I think an album that folks will “discover” 20 years from now and give its due as proto-something. Bonus points on this one because the CD artwork could also be turned into a freakin’ functional sundial! I tried it and it worked. Shouts to Sébastien Hayez for all that incredible design work over the years.

Motél MariEternal Peasant (2012)

We have a long history with João Orecchia, having released his music in many of its configurations and formats since 2009, with the most recent release in 2023. From day one I felt an overwhelmingly humble kindness and undeniable creative talent palpable in everything he did. As such, he’s been a welcome collaborator with scores of folks in audio, visual and performance realms. The Motél Mari album was an early attempt at him being a band leader. He’d done some live work with South African juggernauts BLK JKS, and recruited a couple of them (Mpumi Mcata and Tshepang Ramoba) for this project that spanned rock, pop, hip-hop, electronica, and even some jazz-funk vibes. The album is so well-crafted and just sounds massive. Every song is varied, making it almost like a kick-ass mixtape. We took this one a step further with an enhanced disc ft. bonus tracks, a video and a “living remix” program. We also did a remix EP with folks from South Africa and South Florida tackling some of the album’s tracks. That was fun!

3 Things I Learned:

  1. Always keep your expectations low and be transparent about this.

People can only do so much with limited time, resources, and money. As long as you’re honest with yourself and others about what to expect, then (hopefully) no one will become upset or disappointed by the results. A band once asked me for a $10K advance. Needless to say, that never happened. They also never ended up releasing an album with anyone or even self-releasing, as far as I know. Stating this isn’t a jab at them, but just to further illustrate that perhaps keeping expectations in check can actually help you accomplish more than aiming for the moon on your first adventure.

  1. When it stops being fun/interesting/rewarding, etc., it might be time to stop.

I can’t imagine anyone wants to begrudgingly work on a creative project they’ll end up resenting. I certainly don’t. Yeah, there are some less-than-stimulating peripherals that come with releasing folks’ music, but they pale in comparison to the excitement of collaboration and becoming immersed in helping realize someone else’s vision. I’ve learned so much about music, art, design, films, books, other cultures/countries, and other walks of life just by releasing albums for nearly 20 years. I’m so stoked I’ve been able to relate to the world in these ways, and hope to continue to do so.

  1. They say one person’s trash is another person’s treasure.

This holds true with aesthetics too. There is NOTHING that’s for EVERYONE, but for EVERYONE there is SOMETHING. Sometimes the demographic of that “everyone” is like 47 people, and that’s OK. The idea of a song moving just ONE PERSON to tears, joy, nostalgia, hell, even rage – just to feel ANYTHING because of music – is so fundamental to being alive. It’s OK if (insert “important” music review site here) didn’t like your record, because some kid living in their headphones did, and it undeniably changed them forever.

Emile Milgrim’s band, Las Nubes, will be releasing their second album, ‘Tormentas Malsanas,’ on June 14th via Godless America (cassette), Sweat Records Records (vinyl), and Spinda Records (Europe). The “Pesada” single will be out on May 17th.

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