Label Love #102: Infinite Machine
It’s no easy feat to run a label for 10 years, even more so to carve out your own respected niche.
With Infinite Machine, label owner Charlie has single-handedly built a space for futuristic electronics that colour outside of the lines, but what binds everything together is his steadfast commitment to DIY culture. It’s a core element that has carried over from his previous label, xWOLFx, whose musical focus explored hardcore and screamo — a scene Charlie was very much involved with in his home of Mexico City.
”I have tried to maintain the ethics and philosophy of the hardcore and screamo scene,” he explains, “which involves a lot of DIY and helping others.” Infinite Machine was in fact born after Charlie made the choice to detach himself from that scene, during a transition that saw him set up camp in Montreal for several months.
Some of the first releases came from producers who are now widely acclaimed: Bristol-based producer ∆dmin and Nathan Micay, under his former Bwana alias, stick out in IM’s early discography. That’s another core focus for the label, supporting emerging artists and giving them a platform that could lead to more opportunities.
“It makes me proud and happy to see that Infinite Machine has acted as a bridge for artists to go on to sign with bigger labels and overall getting into bigger things.” It’s this selfless attitude that has led Charlie to build a strong community around the label; something he says will never change. “We are a family and we must work and function as one.”
Many of these artists make up the contributors on their 10 year anniversary compilation. Rallying old and new label family, including Laughing Ears, Duswunder, Milan, Galtier and Benfika, the 19-track release stands as a testament to Infinite Machine’s constantly evolving sound and devotion to underground artistry. Charlie cites it as ‘a huge achievement’; it’s the culmination of a decade of work which has seen their audience grow and develop year on year.
10 years comes with its ups and downs though, as Charlie’s attests it’s been ‘a roller coaster of emotions, experiences and adventures.’ Of course, reaching this milestone would not have been possible without bumps in the road. Like many others in the music industry, Charlie’s mental health has taken a huge hit from the pressures of running a label full time on his own, on top of the other work he does as a producer, DJ, audio engineer, manager and publicist.
Besides the hectic work schedule he notes the inevitable strain of competition. “Over time, and when you position yourself more in this industry, in one way or another people start with comparisons with other labels or collectives. Then you start getting this feeling that you have to compete. I know for a fact that some labels like to compete. I find it ridiculous to compete with art in general. I have learned to understand that everyone has their own path.”
“I find it ridiculous to compete with art in general. I have learned to understand that everyone has their own path.”
More recently he’s learnt the importance of putting his mental health first and, like with his label approach to supporting others around him, he’s keen to connect with people who’ve also experienced difficulties with their mental health.
“If anyone is going through difficult times and they need to talk to someone, do not hesitate to contact me. In recent years I have been struggling a lot to improve my mental health and I am very aware that it is something that many people suffer from and not only in the musical field but in various other areas. This industry is difficult and many times we feel like giving up and leaving everything behind. Don’t do it and keep going!”
After some downtime in January to recoup and take stock, Charlie has plenty more in the pipeline for 2022. There’s shows planned in North America and Europe, plus a second album from label mates Soft as Snow, but beyond their immediate plans, Charlie’s excited for the label’s longterm future to remain somewhat a mystery.
“It makes it exciting to have no clue what the future holds for Infinite Machine. Though, I can only hope to continue contributing a grain of sand to the evolution and innovation of electronic music. ”
We think it’s safe to say that’s already well underway. Here’s to the next decade!