Celebrating their 12th year online, Dublab is the Los Angeles-based, non-profit online radio community that has been championing the weirdest, most creative musicians - from breakthrough beat stars to lost cosmic jazz outfits - whilst building the most inspired creative community around it. Led by founder Frosty, aka Mark McNeill, the musical renaissance man who mirrors Dublab’s ethos with a huge wealth of envious collaborative projects. From his own productions as the space obsessed Adventure Time with Daedelus, to drone dreamer band Golden Hits alongside Ben Knight (the Tyde), Jimmy Tamborello (Dntel), Katie Byron (LA Building Club) and Nanny Cantaloupe (Brainsucking Peanunanners).
From his “Up Our Sleeve” art project co-curated with HIT+RUN’s Brandy Flower that was a touring exhibition of over 500 exclusively made art record sleeves to the “VisionVersion” film project that celebrates LA’s breakthrough musical acts shot on the streets of Los Angeles to his all-night ambient happening, “Tonalism”. For Dazed Digital Frosty created an exclusive version of his radio show, “Celsius Drop”.
Dazed Digital: How many regular shows are there on dublab?
Frosty: We have about 25 resident Labrat DJs in our collective and an extended family of amazing music makers and DJs around the world. Currently we have over 600 hours of archived DJ sets, live performances and interviews. You could become a music monk and spend a lifetime meditating over the sound waves offered up on dublab.
DD: Does all this music ever get too overwhelming?
Frosty: I listen to a lot of music while at dublab HQ. My desk is adjacent to the recording studio so there's a pretty constant stream of sounds surrounding me. At home I mostly enjoy the listening to the birds of the Silver Lake hills. If I do put a record on at home it's usually classical, folk, 60s soul, ethnographic field recordings or some super spaced-out textural ambient drone magic. As for listeners approaching the monumental collection of sounds on dublab I say, ‘Dig in!’ Blow your mind!
DD: Can you talk about the annual fundraisers and how dublab is totally community supported?
Frosty: Most of dublab's music exists on the glowing fringe of the spectrum. What we play isn't 111% commercially palpable. We decided long ago to connect directly with our listeners to build a mutually beneficial relationship. Twice a year (May and November) we hold our Proton Drive fundraisers and broadcast live asking for financial support from our international audience. They respond enthusiastically providing 40% of our annual operating budget. We are an official 501 (c)(3) non profit organization which means that dublab listener donations are tax-deductible in many places. Yay for people power!
DD: What the vibe of your own Celsius Drop show?
Frosty: I never have a plan in place before recording an episode of Celsius Drop. I thrive on the drops, turns and curves of unexpected music journeys and figure that if I'm having fun with the exploration the listeners will too. I enjoy staying super diverse and hopping eras, genres and regions nimbly, like teleportation through a series of great tunes. It's all wide open open open.
DD: Can you set the scene when you made this mix for Dazed?
Frosty: It was a sparkling morning with wildly plumed birds pecking their way through exotic fruit. I walked from the mouth of the cave and peered out at the ocean. Upon the distant, hazy horizon I could nearly make out the ghostly frame of a tall ship rocking on the waves and creeping ever closer to shore. I breathed a deep yawn, stretched and made my way back into the dublab cave to commence mixing these special sounds for you.
FROSTY - "CELSIUS DROP" SPECIAL
Francisco Semprun & Michel Christodoulides - S√©r√©nade - Espaces dynamiques
Lifetones - Good Side - For A Reason - Tone of Life Records
Palais Schaumberg - Ahoi, nicht traurig sein - Palais Schaumberg - Tapete Records
William Onyeabor - Atomic Bomb - Atomic Bomb
Orange Juice - Rip it Up - Coals To Newcastle
Bruce Haack - Party Machine - Farad - Stones Throw
Zackey Force Funk - Jean Jacketzz - Unreleased - myspace.com/zac0ne
Maxmillion Dunbar - Outrageous Soulz - Outrageous Soulz b/w Dreamerzzz 7" - Future Times
Persona la Ave - Beach (Baron Rogue Remix) - Brothers Was Taken - UUU Tapes
Teengirl Fantasy - In the Rain - 7AM - Merok / True Panther
Avey Tare - Oliver Twist - Down There - Paw Tracks
Dntel - Lindsay - After Parties - Sub Pop
Alan Shearer - Sons of the Snake - Space Oddities: A Compilation Of Rare European Library Grooves From 1975-1984 - Permanent Vacation
Clara Mondshine - Turangalila - Visions of Audio - Innovative Communication
Cleaners from Venus - Clara Bow - Golden Cleaners - Tangerine Records
Alzo & Udine - Want you - C'mon And Join Us! - Cisco International
Mark Wirtz - Possum's Dance - A Teenage Opera: The Original Soundtrack Recording - EMI
Pastor T.L. Barrett - Medley - Like a Ship (Without a Sail) - Light in the Attic