Imprints brings you weekly profiles of the most exciting independent record labels the world over, written by movers and shakers from within their own electronic music communities.
Name: Other People
Vibe: Like a stoned dorm room-style conversation about life, death, and love in a modern art museum.
Founded: Summer 2013
Location: All over the world. The Internet. Everywhere? Nowhere?
Claim to Fame: Nicolas Jaar's name alone is enough to make the label fairly well-known, but its celebrity was magnified last fall, when Other People teamed up with indie giant Matador to release the first album from Jaar's collaboration with Dave Harrington, Darkside.
Upcoming Releases: Just a few days ago, Other People unleashed Vtgnike's full-length Dubna. Next week, Valentine Stip's debut LP Sigh will arrive.
By the numbers: Other People isn't a normal record label. Instead of regularly or sporadically publishing albums, singles, and EPs, Other People is a "serial label" that delivers music in "issues" to subscribers every Sunday. There have been 26 issues and six official releases to date.
What's the deal?
Nicolas Jaar, beloved purveyor of seductive and artistically-minded house grooves, once ran an imprint named Clown & Sunset. As per usual with Mr. Jaar, the outpost was not simply or traditionally a record label; it was a branch of the "interdisciplinary production house" Clown & Sunset Aesthetics. After four years, Jaar shut down the operation and launched Other People, a subscription-based label that releases "new content" once a week. Truth be told, we don't have a subscription, so we can't tell you exactly what that entails—but from the looks of it, Other People delivers music streams and downloads from its crew members and external affiliates, as well as some stunning visual art. Issue 26, for instance, features the new album from Scissor & Thread label boss Francis Harris, Minutes of Sleep. (Luckily, you don't need an Other People subscription to listen to the album, because THUMP has a full stream of it right here.)
Although we don't get weekly updates from Other People, we do keenly follow the releases that are available to non-subscribers. There's a core family of artists from around the world responsible for much of its original musical content, so we tracked down three representatives—High Water, Visuals, and Valentin Stip—to get some insider information on Jaar's creative hub.
Explain the name "Other People." What does it mean to you?
HIGH WATER: "Other People" is our secret incantation and summoning machine. It's about the fusion of mutual trust and the furnishing of a collective spirit immune from poisonous lasers and wicked heat.
VISUALS: Other People is the feeling you just can't alone [sic?]. You just need OP like a Monday surprise.
VALENTIN STIP: To me it is like an artist family.
What is the scene like in whichever city you're in?
HIGH WATER: I live in New York. It's all been said before, but it feels like it never has. Could that be? It's a mutating bubble of lost kisses and prickly thorns—true love and wild love. There are a million highways flying to bridge a parallel gap. So much searching. Musicians talk to each other (their sounds and their mouths) but I wish they talked more. So much to learn.
VISUALS: Berlin doesn't bullshit. All of Europe comes here to party, [but] at the same time, you don't play to a room full of cell phone screen glow if your music is not between 117 and 132 bpm. People care about craft but are ready to get loose. Compared to NY, it somehow feels less intimate, but then again, I am a newcomer.
VALENTIN STIP: I am not too familiar with the scene in New York yet, as I have just moved back here after four years living in Montreal. I am still meeting a lot of people every day and that's the beauty of it.
What are your favorite labels right now, besides Other People?
HIGH WATER: Tzadik Records, run by John Zorn. He's probably the greatest hero of our times—a true lover of community and a passionate architect of that holiest magic. An alchemist and a saint.
VISUALS: Been feeling Modern Love, Underwater Peoples lately. Occasionally Luaka Bop still floats through my transom.
VALENTIN STIP: I really like Spectrum Spools.