LA Design Festival spotlight: Dublab

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From May 28 to June 15, the Los Angeles Design Festival (LADF) is bringing together the city’s creative community through a full calendar of events exploring and celebrating the thriving creative economy in LA. As residents of Downtown Los Angeles, Alternative is proud to participate in and support LADF and the organizations and individuals involved.

Through LADF, we’ve had the pleasure of connecting with dublab, a unique, non-profit web radio station that’s been broadcasting an eclectic array of music as diverse as LA’s creative community since 1999. We recently visited dublab’s Proton Drive Pop-Up Studio and spent some time with Mark “Frosty” McNeill to learn more about dublab and his thoughts on how music and design connect in LA.

Tell us about dublab and its mission.

dublab is a community supported web radio station and creative collective dedicated to the growth of progressive music, arts and culture. dublab’s mission is to share beautiful music via the world’s best DJs. What you hear on dublab crosses genres and defies classification. dublab DJs have total freedom of selection to play the music they love. We have extended our creative action to include the production of original art exhibits, film projects, highly themed events and record releases.

dublab and Alternative are coming together as a part of the Los Angeles Design Festival’s LA River Series. How do design and music connect? What are the commonalities between the design and music communities in LA?

Design and music are deeply intertwined mediums. Sound and visual art feed off of each other in a complementary ecosystem. We know from our annual listener survey that graphic design is the most common profession amongst dublab listeners. Our music broadcasts provide this artistic community vital aural stimulation as they work, and likewise, their visual output keeps us inspired.

Creative people frequently tend to be multifaceted in their pursuits and this trend holds especially true in Los Angeles. Many of our favorite musicians are also making forward-thinking visual art and vice versa. Several dublab DJs in fact are accomplished musicians as well as visual artists.

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The dublab pop-up is a great space and a really unique concept. Tell us more about what inspired you to create a physical space for dublab.

Our bi-annual Proton Drive Fundraisers usually happen in the dublab studio, but we’ve always wanted to try our hand at a month-long broadcast from a public space. Listener donations during our Proton Drives power dublab’s mission of sharing elevated music with the world. Our Proton Drive Pop-Up Studio at Space 15 Twenty is an opportunity to further engage with the dublab audience.

The Proton Drive Pop-Up, website and pedestal/palm-laden graphic identity were custom-designed by filmmaker and dublab DJ, Tom Kuntz. His unique vision has made our Spring 2015 Proton Drive very special. We have been broadcasting live 12 hours daily from the pop-up and hosting special events each weekend. The studio is open to the public, so we urge folks to swing on by Space 15 Twenty to listen, make a donation and pick up exclusive dublab merchandise. If you’re elsewhere in the world, you can enjoy the experience streaming live at dublab.com.

Alternative has outfitted the dublab team with our best tees, made from 100% Organic Pima Cotton. What qualities do you look for when choosing the brands you wear and affiliate with?

dublab gravitates towards brands with integrity, positive intentions and quality output. We work with partners who see their actions, whether commercial or otherwise, as a concrete way to make the world a better place. We dig folks who put as much love into their work as we put into sharing creative music. Alternative is a great fit for the dublab universe!

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Join dublab on May 30th for LADF’s River Series: River Makers Bash, where they’ll be providing the music for the outdoor evening celebration by the LA River. Tickets are available here.

Written by Rachel Maniago

Photos by Andrew Lee

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