When you think of music, what are the top three moments that come to mind? Luke Starcher, aka DJ/producer Good Dude Lojack, is looking to work with people who can not only answer that question in an enticing way, but also show that they deeply care about music for his new record label, Delicate Cashmere.
In 2016, a group of Pittsburgh musicians came together at the request of former-Pittsburgher Dario Miceli to form the temporary record label La Squadra. Every month for the duration of the year, music from a different local artist was released on the label. This is part of what inspired Starcher, who was part of La Squadra, to create Delicate Cashmere.
"It was great, it developed this little community where everyone was working together," he says. "But since then everyone kind of just dispersed."
The second reason for the creation of Delicate Cashmere: archives of unreleased music. Although his musical style has changed over the years, Starcher has been playing music in Pittsburgh since he was about 15 years old. In that time, he's accumulated a collection of never-released music of his own and from friends in the local scene.
"I'll create great tracks, and then that song will never be released, and I'll do that so many times that I have an entire album," explained Starcher. "And then that never gets released. [And] I turned around and had like eight albums. But then I started thinking, 'I have all these other friends who have releases as well that they're just sitting on. I have this overwhelming collection of niche music that’s so ripe and ready to put out.' ... This has been a long time coming."
So, finally in a financial situation to support the creation of a label, Starcher debuts Delicate Cashmere Thu., Feb. 27 with a joint documentary screening, record sale, and live music performance from himself, Buscrates, C. Scott, Connor Hill, JGGZ, and Yorel Tifsim. Each of the performers are part of Pittsburgh's underground beat community, an experimental hip-hop genre that originated in L.A.
"I thought to myself, 'I want to be involved more in that community and I want that community to hear what Pittsburgh has to offer and also bring that community into Pittsburgh,'" says Starcher.
One way Starcher is making that happen is with a documentary screening, which will take place at Row House Cinema ahead of the performances and record sale at The Goldmark. All Ears, by filmmaker Gus Sutherland, is an unreleased documentary about how the beat scene got started in L.A. Starcher reached out to Sutherland for permission to screen the film back in the La Squadra days — and he got Sutherland's OK — but it never ended up happening.
"I reached out years later and asked if he was still down and he said yes," says Starcher. "It seemed too perfect to have the first party be a film screening of this music that I always loved so much in conjunction with a show that included artists in Pittsburgh that made this style of music."
However, although the beat scene is important to Starcher, Delicate Cashmere won't genre-specific. There will be an emphasis on electronic music, and more specifically beat music/instrumental hip hop, house, and ambient, but live projects that range from funk to jazz will also be included.
So far, confirmed releases on Delicate Cashmere include a Connor Hill album and an old duo project from Hill and Starcher. This past Saturday, Starcher picked up the first release from a pressing plant in Detriot, Mich.
"I want to approach it thinking about artists above all," says Starcher.
If you are a musician who would like to work with Starcher, he encourages you to reach out. Just make sure to have your top three musical memories ready.