Exotic Fever Records
|Exotic Fever Records|
Washington, DC, United States
|Genre||Various (punk, indie rock, alt rock, emo, screamo, hardcore punk, post hardcore, etc.)|
|Location||South Philadelphia, PA|
|Official website||Exotic Fever Records|
Exotic Fever Records is an independent record label founded by Bonnie Schlegel in 2000 in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Schlegel, formerly of the band Bald Rapunzel, enlisted the help of drummer Katy Otto in running the label. Currently operated by Otto in Philadelphia, bands have included The Shondes, Pygmylush, and 1905, which released their only album on the label. To date, the label has issued over 50 releases, including an array of benefit compilations such as Keep Singing! A Benefit Compilation for Compassion Over Killing.
Exotic Fever Records was founded in 2000 by Bonnie Schlegel, a punk musician living in Washington, DC. Then a member of Bald Rapunzel (Dischord Records) and living in the Luzon House with other musicians, she was encouraged by bandmate Clark Sabine to form the label to release music from his band The Halo Project. Schlegel chose the name to project the idea that the label was home to "rare and infectious music," and started with a small catalog of records she was interested in, releasing "100 CDR copies each with cute packaging. It wasn’t very serious."
At the time Otto was roommates with Sara Klemm, who was organizing a compilation CD to benefit the DC Books to Prisons chapter she'd founded. The ensuing Literacy and Justice For All was the label's third release and first compilation. It included a zine with essays and prisoners' artwork, and proceeds from the album and live shows benefited DC Books to Prisons.
According to Klemm, "at least in the late '90s and early aughts, the D.C. music community was pretty special in how...it supported other non-music related projects. [The D.C. Area Books to Prisons Project] really benefited from the tremendous support we got from the DIY musicians in the city—both in terms of encouragement and financial support from benefit shows."
Sample of the 2004 track "Fall" off Voice by the band 1905, illustrating their at-times screamed vocals and political lyrics
Sample of the slower and less-frantic "Woman" by Animals of Ambivalence, who released a concept EP on the label in 2012.
|Problems playing these files? See media help.|
Bonnie Schlegel left the label not long after its inception, moving to Vermont to raise her daughter and work on her solo project, Edie Moss. Back in DC, Otto brought Sara Klemm in to help with the label. While not a musician, Klemm regularly worked with musicians for charity work. Klemm and Otto and became partners at the label, with Otto later taking over as they relocated to South Philadelphia.
In 2009 the label released a split LP between Washington, DC's Turboslut and Pygmy Lush, and the next year partnered with The Shondes to release Searchlights, the band's third full length. In 2011, the label released Improvised Weapons by the Baltimore band War on Women, as well as a concept EP The Animals of Ambivalence. In 2013, Exotic Fever released the self-titled debut of from Berlin The Dropout Patrol.
Seminal D.C. punk and post-hardcore label Dischord Records handled early distribution, and their politically active nature was a significant influence on the label itself, as were DeSoto Records and SimpleMachines. Other early mentors and associates of the label included Brian Lowit of Lovitt Records, and according to Otto, "I will remain endlessly inspired till I die by the political and cultural work Fugazi did. They definitely changed my life and I attribute a lot of what I do today to the effect they had on me as a younger girl going to shows."
The label continues to focus on artists interested in social change and community, and is active politically. As part of their work with Positive Force DC, the label was also involved in the project All Our Power, a three day gathering concerned with connecting punk and activism. Through fundraising through compilations and other means, as of 2013 it supports groups such as:
- AMP (All Ages Movement Project)
- Compassion Over Killing
- DC Books to Prisons Project
- District Alliance for Safe Housing
- Helping Individual Prostitutes Survive
- Men Can Stop Rape
- Positive Force DC
- Provisions Library
- Vietnam Veterans of America
As of 2013 the label has released five compilations albums beneffiting Vietnam Veterans of America, Helping Individual Prostitutes Survive, District Alliance for Safe Housing, the non-profit animal rights advocacy group Compassion Over Killing, and DC Books to Prisons.
On January 29, 2008, the label released Keep Singing! A Benefit Compilation for Compassion Over Killing. Genres on the compilation included Indie rock, alternative rock, emo, screamo, hardcore punk, punk, and post hardcore. The CD booklet contained vegetarian recipes submitted by the artists, and advertisements for small, ethical companies.
Keep Singing! was positively received, and according to a review: "Ranging from warm acoustic ballads to intense punk rock chops, each musician sings intelligent lyrics from the heart. There is no mistaking the messages of compassion and animal rights in this album. Keep Singing! offers a breath of fresh air to thinking people sadly wandering amidst vapid pop star-worship and destruction of the planet’s resources."
A 2013 compilation of The Others discography benefited To Write Love on Her Arms, a suicide-prevention non-profit that is primarily supported though bands and musicians.
While many releases are punk or post-punk, the label is not associated with one particular genre. According to Otto, "We like to release music we think is incredible, by people we think are exceptional, who are interested...in being part of a cultural community." Also, "in our opinion, [the bands] all make sense aesthetically together - while they may sound totally different, they come from the same place of urgency."
Manager Katy Otto drums or has drummed for a number of bands, including Del Cielo, Trophy Wife, The Lonely American, Homage to Catalonia, Problems, and Helsinki. Animals of Ambivalence is her concept EP. Most of her bands have released music on the label, although frequently with dual releases on other labels such as Eyeball Records. According to Otto, the bands tend to make better group decisions when working neutrally with a third-party label, as compared to one member owning the label themselves. Trophy Wife, for example, is on 307 Knox Records for this reason.
They've also done split releases with Golden Brown Records (Philadelphia) and Altin Village Records (Germany).
- Source: ExoticFever.com/music (June 8, 2013)
|EXF001||The Halo Project||The Halo Project||2001|
|EXF003||Various||With Literacy and Justice for All||2002|
|EXF004||Light the Fuse and Run||All Your Base Are Belong to Us||2002|
|EXF005||Andrea Lisi / Homage To Catalonia||Andrea Lisi / Homage To Catalonia||2002|
(Enon, Death Cab For Cutie, Ted Leo, etc.)
|Don't Know When I'll Be Back Again - A Compilation Benefiting American Veterans Of The Vietnam War||2002|
|EXF007||Schlegel-n-Frasure (daughter of label founder Bonnie Schlegel)||Hannah Campbell||2003|
|EXF009||Kathy Cashel||The Rare Animal Zoo||2007|
|EXF010||Liza Kate, Rachel Jacobs||Rachel Jacobs & Liza Kate||2005|
|EXF011||Respira||A Still Silhouette||2006|
|EXF012||songs of august||1902||2006|
|EXF013||Del Cielo||Wish and Wait||2002|
|EXF014||The Sinister Quarter||Pink Guillotine||2004|
|EXF015||des_ark, Bellafea||des_ark / bellafea||2005|
|EXF016||Van Johnson||Ladies and Gentlemen||2004|
|EXF018||Kathy Cashel||The Question is Yes||2007|
|EXF020||Gina Young||She's So Androgynous||2006|
|EXF021||Various||This is a Care Package : A compilation benefiting Helping Individual Prostitutes Survive||2006|
|EXF022||Ricky Fitts||Wizard Lisp||2005|
|EXF023||Eulcid||Hope: And Songs To Sing||2006|
|EXF024||tornavalanche, Tight Phantomz||Tornavalanche/Tight Phantomz Split||2006|
|EXF025||Mass Movement of the Moth||Outerspace||2006|
|EXF026||Hope and Anchor||the wait and wonder||2007|
|EXF027||Wrong Day to Quit||Vicissitudes||2007|
|EXF028||Pash||The Best Gun||2007|
|EXF029||New Idea Society||The World is Bright and Lonely||2007|
(Strike Anywhere, Attrition, Junius, Off Minor, Ampere, etc.)
|Keep Singing! A Benefit Compilation for Compassion Over Killing||2008|
|EXF031||Den of Thieves||Letters from the Tanzerouft||2008|
|EXF032||Life at These Speeds, Thank God||Thank God/Life at These Speeds split (split release with Tick Tock Records)||2008|
|EXF033||Now Sleepyhead||Nocturne (split release with Pop Faction Records)||2008|
|EXF034||Turboslut, Pygmylush||Turboslut / Pygmylush||2009|
|EXF035||tornavalanche||Get Rich or Cry Trying||2009|
|EXF036||Trophy Wife||Trophy Wife||2009|
|EXF038||Resin Hits||How to Cut a Rock||2010|
|EXF039||Ultra Dolphins||Alien Baby||2010|
|EXF041||M.G. Lederman||What Ifs and Bad Memories||2010|
|EXF042||A Stick and a Stone||Opal Nightly||2011|
|EXF043||The Lonely American||The Lonely American||2012|
|EXF044||Various||And Tonight the City Safely Sleeps : A Compilation for the District Alliance for Safe Housing||2012|
|EXF046||War on Women||Improvised Weapons||2012|
|EXF047||Animals of Ambivalence||The Animals of Ambivalence||2012|
|EXF048||Dropout Patrol||Dropout Patrol||2012|
|EXF050||The Others||The Others 1995-2002||2013|
|EXF051||The Shondes||The Garden"||2013|
|EXF052||The Monsters in My Bed||The Monsters in My Bed"||2014|
- "Bald Rapunzel". Resin Records. Retrieved 2013-03-12.
- "Interview with Katy Otto". Silbermedia. November 2010. Retrieved 2013-06-06.
- "Katy Otto On Women As Objects and Her Band Trophy Wife". Tom Tom Magazine. July 18, 2010. Retrieved 2013-06-07.
- "Interviews: Exotic Fever Records". Scene Point Blank. October 16, 2010. Retrieved 2013-06-07.
- Little, Ryan (October 18, 2010). "Catching Up With No Kill No Beep Beep, Day 1: Exotic Fever". Washington City Paper. Retrieved 2013-06-06.
- "Label Owner Interview with Katy Otto of Exotic Fever Records". SilberMedia. November 2010. Retrieved 2013-06-07.
- "With Literacy and Justice for All". Exotic Fever Records. Retrieved 2013-06-06.
- Dineen, Matt (September–October 2005). "D.C. Superhero: An Interview with Katy Otto". Clamor Magazine. Retrieved 2013-06-07.
- "Keep Singing! :: EXF030". Exotic Fever Records. Retrieved 2011-11-15.
- Piasta, Jacquie (April 13, 2008). "Keep Singing! A Benefit Compilation For Compassion Over Killing". Elevate Difference. Retrieved 2013-06-07.
- "Del Cielo". ThePlaylist.net. Retrieved 2013-06-07.
- Paschall, Valerie (April 27, 2012). "DCist Interview: Trophy Wife". DCist. Retrieved 2013-06-07.
- "Artist List". Exotic Fever Records. Retrieved 2013-06-06.
- Exotic Fever Records
- Exotic Fever Records on MySpace (Official)
- Exotic Fever Records on Facebook (Official)