Miami New Times' MasterMind Awards honors the city's most inspiring creatives. This week, we're profiling the 10 finalists, selected by our staff from over 100 submissions, who are in the running to receive one of three 2013 MasterMind awards, each of which comes with a fat $1,000 check. This year's MasterMind Award winners will be announced Thursday, February 28, at Artopia, our annual soiree celebrating Miami culture. For tickets and more information, visit the website.
Indie powerhouse Sweat Records is ground zero for Miami's music scene. That's advantageous for general manager and music buyer Emile Milgrim, who moonlights as owner of the eclectic, multigenre record label Other Electricities (OE).
Born and raised in Miami, Milgrim relocated to Portland, Oregon, in her 20s. There, she played drums in basements and chased post-rock glory. But after a failed attempt at a band, she redirected her creative energy into OE, repping everything from dark folk to abstract electronica, ambient pop, and heavy metal.
"It was very slow going at first. We started working in music promotion to get our bearings and learn how to market a record," she remembers.
In 2011, Milgrim returned to Miami, and OE launched its East Coast incarnation, picking up artists with sounds ranging from ethereal techno to neoclassical electro-acoustic.
Milgrim says Miami has been more receptive to OE than Portland was. "I came here and got a job at Sweat Records, which was very helpful. I can talk to people about music all day long and feel out the music community in a different way."
In recent months, OE has released a debut double-LP by buzzworthy local metal act Holly Hunt and signed local act Dim Past, both in conjunction with Roofless Records. Coming soon on the label: a cassette from Italian composer Giulio Aldinucci in the spring and the final issue from Low Low Low La La La Love Love Love -- a band OE has repped from start to finish.
OE has released more than 30 albums, by U.S. artists from Miami to Seattle and international acts including Bacanal Intruder, Fessenden, Dot Tape Dot, and João Orecchia. But lately, the 30-year-old label head has been leaning toward acts in her own backyard.
"I've really fallen in love with the local music community. Here, it's just so great to be able to be an active part of a release, to go out and hear a band and talk to them and conceptualize doing something with them," she says. "I see myself working more locally, having a greater percentage of what I release being local because the experience has been really fulfilling."
2013 MasterMind Award Finalists:
2013 MasterMind Award Honorable Mentions: