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Sweat Records Announces Independent Label, Sweat Records Records

Over the decades, independent Miami labels like Open Records, Roofless Records, Schematic Records, and more have helped make the city's music scene eclectic, weird, and wonderful. Since 2005, Sweat Records has been a hub of that scene. And now, the beloved record store is announcing the launch of its own independent label, Sweat Records Records.

“We want to put out records we’re passionate about and lift up artists,” says Sweat founder Lolo Reskin. “We can’t not do it.”

To turn this resolve into reality, Reskin partnered with fellow Sweat team member Emile Milgrim (cofounder of Other Electricities) and Vivek Jayaram, a lawyer who specializes in intellectual property for artists. All are old friends, as you must be to make a labor of love work. “It’s quite gratifying to start a project and hear ‘Finally!’ when you start to tell people about it,” Reskin says.

When SunPress Vinyl opened in January 2017, new local records began arriving at Sweat. “It was... a trickle and a lot of usual suspects at that,” she says. “And almost exactly like how Sweat came to be, we thought, Hey, we know what we’re doing and what people like. Let’s go."

Judging by the slated releases (vinyl, of course) Reskin shared with New Times, the new label also knows what Miami likes.

The first release will be a 12-inch of ‘80s freestyle queen Debbie Deb’s “Everybody’s Jammin’,” a lost single that was recorded in the ‘80s and went unreleased. Reskin hopes the release, a collaboration with Miami’s Schematic Records and Pandisc Records, will remind the world that the artist sampled by Janet Jackson, Pitbull, and so many others is a Miami-born legend. “It feels like the missing single that should’ve been rocking dance floors and roller rinks along with ‘Lookout Weekend’ and ‘When I Hear Music,’” Reskin says. “With my background as a Kendall roller-rink regular, the opportunity to release such an incredible freestyle gem feels very full circle.”

Miami bilingual folk goths Dracula will also be releasing a full-length LP, Dorys & Eli, with Sweat Records Records in 2018. The Cuban and Honduran duo has been playing and recording lush, mossy acoustic melodies from Vashti Bunyan to "Veinte Años" together for years, but Reskin hopes the new label will allow Dorys Bello and Eli Oviedo to pursue their otherworldly music at full force. (Even the demos sound like the crisp autumn Miami longs for every year.) The LP, released on colored vinyl, is the first of the many future releases Reskin hopes will bring longstanding local mainstays like Dracula to new listeners, both in Miami and beyond.

Dracula recording at Andrew “DJ Le Spam” Yeomanson’s City of Progress Studios.EXPAND
Dracula recording at Andrew “DJ Le Spam” Yeomanson’s City of Progress Studios.
Photo by Lolo Reskin

The label's roster also includes Las Nubes (F.K.A. Smvt), Sweat's Ale Campos' all-girl, lo-fi rock solo-project-turned-trio. The debut LP will be released later this year. And finally, Argentine DJ, musician, radio host, producer, and founder of the Gumbo Limbo Experiment Richie Hell will release his debut LP either at the tail end of 2018 or in early 2019.

"Locally, we’d love to inspire more young bands to be consistent and make vinyl," Reskin says. "Our larger goals are to help musicians... have viable careers in the music industry supported by the fanbases they deserve."

In classic Sweat fashion, the new label is throwing a killer show to celebrate. The official Sweat Records Records label liftoff party is slated for August 26 with performances by Dracula, Las Nubes, and a DJ set by Richie Hell. There will be drinks, nachos, limited-edition merch, and the first chance to preorder the Debbie Deb 12-inch and Dracula LP.

“This is a really exciting time to be involved in the music business. Things are more democratic than they’ve ever been," Jayaram says. "All three of us are interested in making music available that’s authentic to this specific community; this creative, multicultural jumble that is Miami.”

Sweat Records Records Label Launch Party. 3 to 7 p.m. Sunday, August 26, at Sweat Records, 5505 NE Second Ave., Miami; 786-693-9309; sweatrecordsmiami.com. Admission is free.

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