Stereocure Kicks Off Tour, Spreads Unabashed Love of Music

Julia Hubay, Arts Editor

Odd as it may sound, it is both easier and harder than ever, to make it in the modern music industry. Technological advances allow for artists to record and distribute their music much more effectively, but this advance has also vastly expanded the pool of competitors.

Despite the bleak outlook, a group of friends has started a digital music collective called Stereocure with the belief that success will follow from a true passion for great music. The idea grew out of a conversation that childhood friends Jordan Alper of New York University and College juniors Adam Hirsch and Gabe Kanengiser had with Conservatory junior Myles Emmons, which led to the creation of a (cyber) space to showcase the talents of their musical friends.

Its mission statement defines Stereocure as “a digital record label, blog and collective of musicians and artists,” but its founders heavily emphasize the community as the most important part. Stereocure is tight-knit, its friendly makeup allowing for an environment that encourages its members’ creative endeavors. They believe that this network of artists in their 20s both provides moral support and fosters the creative process.

This past summer, the musicians of Stereocure solidified their community and proved what they could accomplish when they worked together. They founded and ran a music venue in Los Angeles called Art House Live. The venue hosted shows featuring many of the artists on the Stereocure label, and even a performance by electronic music icon Daedelus. The overall experience was indicative of how successful a DIY musical experience can be.

The DIY philosophy is integral to the Stereocure mission. It means that its members are practically a family, working with each other to create their music and provide mutual support. It also means that Stereocure has to work within its means, only releasing its music digitally. Hirsch clarifies that they are all “extremely fond of physical releases” and someday hope to be able to also release their music on vinyl, but they are currently just interested in getting their music out there, available to listeners.

One reason why they are giving away their music for free is to drum up interest in the music itself, but it is also an acknowledgment of the fact that they are working as musicians within a new media framework and that the old models of the industry are unsustainable. “The internet has made it so that people don’t see the point of paying for music,” said Kanengiser. Stereocure provides its music to listeners for free because it is “the only viable way to get listened to.” While recognizing that this is the current atmosphere they must operate in, the members of Stereocure are also tirelessly searching for a way to make their model sustainable for artists.

Referring to DIY culture and how it is changing the music industry, Hirsch explained, “We feel like we’re on the precipice, that something great is on the way. Now, we’re learning something great about the creative process and how far it can go.” By keeping lines of communication clear and open with all of the artists on the label — many of the bands are made up of Oberlin students — Stereocure is working to figure out what kind of environment is best to foster artistic creativity and to make the music available to modern listeners.

This weekend, Stereocure is kicking off its first tour in Oberlin with three live shows, all for free. Each show has a different feel, tailored to the venue. Thursday night’s show at Finney Chapel focused on ambient electronics and experimental art music sets. Oberlin bands Native Eloquence, Red Yellow Violet and Kuh-Lida performed along with traveling band STaG, accompanied by live visuals by Countless Others. On Saturday at the house show at 75 Elmwood Pl., DLUSN will provide the visuals that set the stage for the dance-beat electronics of Think, Red Yellow Violet and Kuh-Lida. The last show will be on Sunday at the ’Sco, and features sets from PEAKS, Native Eloquence and STaG, with visuals by Kuh-Lida.

Each show promises a different kind of experience, and each showcases Oberlin talent. Once Oberlin audiences are introduced to the creativity and talent of the artists of Stereocure, word about the collective’s DIY methods and artist-centered atmosphere is bound to spread.