Exotic Fever Records

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Exotic Fever Records
Founded 2000 (2000)
Washington, DC, United States
Founder Bonnie Schlegel
Status Active
Distributor(s) Dischord
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,[1] enlisted the help of drummer Katy Otto in running the label.[2][3] 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.[2] Then a member of Bald Rapunzel (Dischord Records)[4] 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.[5] 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."[4]

An indie punk and queercore band from Brooklyn, The Shondes have released music on the label. Like many artists on the label their music is politically active.

She soon recruited the drummer of Bald Rapunzel, Katy Otto, to join in managing to the label.[4] They funded early releases with their personal work savings.[6]

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.[4] 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.[7]

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."[5]

The label released the singular recording of influential DC band 1905 in 2004, which went on to be one of their best-selling releases.[4] More releases and compilations followed.

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.[5] Klemm and Otto and became partners at the label,[8] with Otto later taking over as they relocated to South Philadelphia.[3]

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. A host of other releases continued, both in physical and in digital format. In 2013, The Shondes released The Garden, their second venture on the label. They followed this up in 2016 with Brighton, and a digital version of Brighton B-sides.

In 2016, Exotic Fever Records released a double LP from Ghastly City Sleep, featuring ex-members of City of Caterpillar, entitled Lulling Skulls. In this year, the label also released a split LP with RedRumsey (Vern Rumsey from Unwound in a solo endeavor/project, and Teach Me Equals.

In March of 2017, it was announced that the label would be releasing new projects in the summer from Cool Moon (ex-Del Cielo) and Fine Motor.


Seminal D.C. punk and post-hardcore label Dischord Records handled early distribution,[6] and their politically active nature was a significant influence on the label itself,[4] as were DeSoto Records and SimpleMachines. Other early mentors and associates of the label included Brian Lowit of Lovitt Records,[4] 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."[4]

The label continues to focus on artists interested in social change and community,[6] 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.[4] Through fundraising through compilations and other means, as of 2013 it supports groups such as:[9]

Benefit compilations[edit]

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.[10] The CD booklet contained vegetarian recipes submitted by the artists, and advertisements for small, ethical companies.[11]

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."[11]

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.


Band Pygmylush (shown in 2007) first released music on the label in 2009

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."[4]

Owner Katy Otto drums or has drummed for a number of bands, including Del Cielo,[8][12] Trophy Wife, The Lonely American, Homage to Catalonia, Problems, Helsinki, and Callowhill.[3] Animals of Ambivalence and The Monsters in My Bed are her concept EPs. 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.[4] Trophy Wife, for example, is on 307 Knox Records for this reason.[13]

They've also done split releases with Golden Brown Records (Philadelphia) and Altin Village Records (Germany).


  • A Stick and a Stone
  • Animals of Ambivalence
  • Callowhill
  • Cool Moon
  • Dropout Patrol
  • Fine Motor
  • Ghastly City Sleep
  • Kathy Cashel
  • M.G. Lederman
  • The Monsters in My Bed
  • Pygmylush
  • RedRumsey (Vern Rumsey)
  • The Shondes
  • Teach Me Equals
  • Trophy Wife
  • War on Women


  • 1905
  • Andrea Lisi
  • Bellafea
  • Del Cielo
  • Den of Thieves
  • des ark
  • Eulcid
  • Exholiday
  • Gina Young
  • Halflight
  • Homage to Catalonia
  • Hope and Anchor
  • Light the Fuse and Run
  • Liza Kate
  • Mass Movement of the Moth
  • New Idea Society
  • Now Sleepyhead
  • Pash
  • polarOPPOSITEbear
  • Rachel Jacobs
  • Resin Hits
  • Resister
  • Respira
  • Ricky Fitts
  • Songs of August
  • Thank God
  • The Halo Project
  • Life at These Speeds
  • The Lonely American
  • The Others
  • Tight Phantomz
  • tornavalanche
  • Turboslut
  • The Sinister Quarter
  • Ultra Dolphins
  • Van Johnson
  • Wrong Day to Quit


Source: ExoticFever.com/music (June 8, 2013)
No. Artist Title Year
EXF001 The Halo Project The Halo Project 2000
EXF002 Halflight Halflight 2000
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
EXF006 Various
(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 2003
EXF007 Schlegel-n-Frasure (daughter of label founder Bonnie Schlegel) Hannah Campbell 2003
EXF008 1905 Voice 2003
EXF009 Kathy Cashel The Rare Animal Zoo 2004
EXF010 Liza Kate, Rachel Jacobs Rachel Jacobs & Liza Kate 2005
EXF011 Respira A Still Silhouette 2003
EXF012 songs of august 1902 2004
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
EXF017 Van Johnson EP 2005
EXF018 Kathy Cashel The Question is Yes 2007
EXF019 Pash Kingwood 2005
EXF020 Gina Young She's So Androgynous 2005
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 2006
EXF027 Wrong Day to Quit Vicissitudes 2007
EXF028 Pash The Best Gun 2007
EXF029 New Idea Society The World is Bright and Lonely 2007
EXF030 Various
(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
EXF037 polarOPPOSITEbear polarOPPOSITEbear EP 2010
EXF038 Resin Hits How to Cut a Rock 2010
EXF039 Ultra Dolphins Alien Baby 2010
EXF040 Thank God ice/age 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
EXF045 The Shondes Searchlights 2011
EXF046 War on Women Improvised Weapons 2012
EXF047 Animals of Ambivalence The Animals of Ambivalence 2012
EXF048 Dropout Patrol Dropout Patrol 2012
EXF049 Resister Resister EP 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
EXF053 Exholiday Pine Street" 2014
EXF054 Callowhill Self-titled 7 inch" 2015
EXF055 Dascher-n-Otto (son of label cofounder) David Ian Dascher" 2015
EXF056 Ghastly City Sleep Lulling Skulls double LP split release NoMoonOn Records" 2016
EXF057 The Shondes Brighton" 2016
EXF058 RedRumsey (Vern Rumsey)/Teach Me Equals Split LP" 2016
EXF059 Fine Motor Self-titled" 2017
EXF060 Cool Moon Postparty Depression" 2017
EXF061 Noise and Silence self-titled cassette tape" 2017
EXF062 Callowhill The Way Out CD with digital download" 2017


  1. ^ "Bald Rapunzel". Resin Records. Retrieved 2013-03-12. 
  2. ^ a b "Interview with Katy Otto". Silbermedia. November 2010. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  3. ^ a b c "Katy Otto On Women As Objects and Her Band Trophy Wife". Tom Tom Magazine. July 18, 2010. Retrieved 2013-06-07. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Interviews: Exotic Fever Records". Scene Point Blank. October 16, 2010. Retrieved 2013-06-07.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  5. ^ a b c Little, Ryan (October 18, 2010). "Catching Up With No Kill No Beep Beep, Day 1: Exotic Fever". Washington City Paper. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  6. ^ a b c "Label Owner Interview with Katy Otto of Exotic Fever Records". SilberMedia. November 2010. Retrieved 2013-06-07. 
  7. ^ "With Literacy and Justice for All". Exotic Fever Records. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  8. ^ a b Dineen, Matt (September–October 2005). "D.C. Superhero: An Interview with Katy Otto". Clamor Magazine. Retrieved 2013-06-07. 
  9. ^ "Keep Singing! :: EXF030". Exotic Fever Records. Retrieved 2011-11-15. 
  10. ^ a b Piasta, Jacquie (April 13, 2008). "Keep Singing! A Benefit Compilation For Compassion Over Killing". Elevate Difference. Retrieved 2013-06-07. 
  11. ^ "Del Cielo". ThePlaylist.net. Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2013-06-07. 
  12. ^ Paschall, Valerie (April 27, 2012). "DCist Interview: Trophy Wife". DCist. Archived from the original on May 5, 2012. Retrieved 2013-06-07. 
  13. ^ "Artist List". Exotic Fever Records. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 

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