Low Indigo was born in the chill-out room of an old warehouse rave. Starting off as an event to showcase the talent of local west coast producers, it is the music found in the “B” room or even more likely the “C” room. It was created to be different, diverse and unpredictable. Label head, Michael Red pauses on the phone from Vancouver before continuing the explanation of his passion project.

“You know that it wouldn’t be played in the main room because it is weirdly produced, too edgy or doesn’t suit a large dance floor.” He then refers to it as music with the “safety off”.

It’s very important for Red that Low Indigo not only showcase what many might consider to be leftfield, but that it also highlights the burgeoning talent in Western Canada. Low Indigo’s latest release, Timelight, by Calgary native, Crimson, is a perfect example of what the label crafts; showcasing the up-and-comers that are more likely to be in the side room than the main room.

When asked what labels he would liken Low Indigo to, in it’s conceptual stages, he automatically names labels like Brainfeeder and Ninja Tune.

“Since Low Indigo started we have definitely taken cues from Brainfeeder and nights like Low End Theory.” He pauses and then continues to explain that it goes beyond the individual EPs but in totality ends up being more the cohesiveness of the work.

“I think about Ninja Tune as a label that I look to because they have that expansiveness. They are diverse. When Ninja Tune puts out a single or an EP it might not make the most sense as a release, especially as a commercial release, but they always make sense when you look at them in the broader catalog that has been released over time.

“I like the idea of hidden gems and tunes that might become relevant in later years, but that might be received in a sort of side ways moment at first.”

For a project, born from the heart, the biggest challenge that Red faces, thus far, is time.

“[If there was more time], there would be infrastructure, more releases and probably a better Internet footprint,” he admits. “If I wasn’t so incredibly busy with other projects.”

But through all the challenges there are many rewards, several which are not measured by money. He reminisces about hearing some of Low Indigo’s releases in festival morning sets and the satisfaction that it brings him to hear other people appreciating the music that he so painstakingly curates like the forthcoming EPs by Jolin Ras or okpk.

“Thankfully because of my other projects I take the fruits of my other projects and feed it into Low Indigo … at this point I’m not worried about releases making money, so that means they can be more pure and be a more authentic platform for the artist to express themselves.”

By Donatella Connolly

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