We recently caught up with Jordan Alper, co-founder of the rising artistic collective and record label Stereocure, and asked him about how things were going with their musical and artistic efforts. He had a lot to say about their first tour and what it is like to get to work with so many talented musicians and artists. After our talk we got an insight as to to the meaning behind the name, their current roster and some artists that are on their radar. Here’s how the interview went down:
Indie Current: What is Stereocure?
Stereocure: Stereocure is a music/art collective and digital released record label founded by myself and three other lovely gentlemen. It is first and foremost a community, formed out of the realization that we were surrounded by so many diversely-talented people and that we could accomplish a lot more together than we could alone. The artists came from a mixture of our friends, friends of friends, people we met at the venue we work at in LA, and some that we reached out to. In our mission essay we say that we provide a “hands-off creative environment with hands-on support.” I think that describes our community really well.
IC: What does “stereocure” mean though?
S: Well a lot of how we run Stereocure is inspired by our distaste with the current state of the commercial music industry and the ways major labels both fail to adapt to a shifting media landscape and undermine artistic integrity. At the same time, we strongly believe that today’s media environment lends itself to providing one of the most exciting and opportunistic times for music. With current technology, the connections between musicians and listeners have never been stronger, and content can be produced and released so rapidly and directly. So I would say “Stereocure” means that we think that the industry is in need of a cure, and that the cure is great, innovative music.
IC: Speak to us about the music. What kind of talent do you guys work with? What would you describe the sound of the label?
S: Something that’s pretty unique about Stereocure is that we are not genre confined. We have indie-rock and folk bands like StaG and Peaks, and we also have electronic artists such as Kuh-Lida, RYV, THiNK, and others. Even though that contrast may appear scattered, it is all united by a heavy appreciation of music history, musicianship, and most of all, experimentation. I would say the “sound” of the label is pretty diverse, but you can definitely feel a lot of jazz influence throughout, and you can hear how much all of the artists are influenced and inspired by each other.
IC: Is there one artist in-particular that you would like to “highlight”?
S: One artist that I think really exemplifies our community’s diverse, creative landscape is Native Eloquence (also known as fellow Stereocure Co-Founder Adam Hirsch). When he performs live, he’s up there with enough instruments, effects pedals and other gear to equip a 6-piece band. He performs alone, tying everything together with a loop pedal and an amazing knack for improv (due to his training as a jazz saxophonist). Adam brings in a vast set of influences, from classical and jazz to experimental electronic and instrumental hip-hop. There are moments of his set where it’s just him and his guitar and there are moments wheres he’s building countless instrumental and vocal loops with a zen-like control of chaos. I recommend everyone checks out his debut EP that we released on August 20th, as well as the sessions we shot of him which you can find in the “Videos” section of our website.
IC: Explain the “art” part of Stereocure?
S: Visual art plays a huge role in our community thanks to the amazingly talented and inventive artists that are involved. We really try to keep it all in the family and have original art by someone in our community to go along with every release and post. Two artists I would like to mention specifically are Conor Donahue and Paul Miller Gamble. Followers of Stereocure may have seen Conor’s work in the poster for the first Brooklyn show from our recent east-coast showcase tour. He is also an accomplished comic book artist, something we hope to highlight on our website soon. You can check out Conor’s work [here].
Paul Miller Gamble has created several of our album covers, including the ones for Native Eloquence‘s EP, THiNK‘s Solstice EP, as well as the first volume of our Stereocure Sampler. He works in several media, but largely focuses on collage work. We recently featured and wrote about a few of Paul’s newest collages on our site, which you can check out [here].
IC: Are any of the artists on tour or touring soon?
S: We actually recently wrapped up our first little Stereocure Showcase Tour. We did shows at a few colleges as well as in Brooklyn and Boston. Now we are working on some west coast shows over December and January. We will definitely be doing a lot of shows during those months at Art House Live, a DIY venue/gallery that is owned by a mentor of mine named Andrew Cohen. Anyone who wants to stay updated with info about our shows and everything else should “like” our Facebook page.
IC: Is everything based in LA?
S: A good number of the founding members of Stereocure are originally from Los Angeles, but as of now we are spread all over the country. LA definitely has had a huge influence on us, especially the Low End Theory/Brainfeeder experimental electronic scene.
IC: What are your plans for expansion/growth?
S: We are starting to develop our plan to transition from a free-model digital label to a monetized, independent label with physical releases. We are committed to maintaining our current community-based spirit and focus on experimentation/artistic integrity through that process though. We are also continuing to search for creative/inspiring individuals to join our community.
IC: What have you been listening to lately?
S: I’ve been listening a lot to the newest Stereocure release, Family Photo‘s new EP Nude Celebz. You can download it for free on our website. In terms of non-Stereocure music, I’ve been spending a lot of time listening to experimental electronic artists like Mndsgn, Lapalux, Kiyoko, and Mount Kimbie. My go to on-the-subway albums lately have been Cuddle Magic‘s Info Nympho, St. Vincent‘s first album Marry Me and Stereolab‘s Dots and Loops. I also really recommend that everybody checks out Moonchild, a young neo-soul group out of LA. They are making some incredibly tasty music and are unreal live.
IC: Who is your dream artist/band to work with?
S: I would die to link up with Daddy Kev, who runs the Low End Theory event in LA. I also really want to get Kneebody involved somehow, they are an incredible modern jazz group that brings together a lot of different influences to create their own musical language. There are a lot of artists who I dream of working with, but at the end of the day the artists already involved in Stereocure are some of the most inspiring and talented people I could ever wish to be around.