Dazed Digital


A Light from Los Angeles in Tokyo

March 26, 2012

dublab and Digital Harinezumi present enlightenment and inspiration through a reflective video project bridging creative communities

  • Text by Terence Teh

Our good friends over in LA - the dublab crew - led by AV creative torchbearer Mark "Frosty" McNeill have embarked on an inspiring new journey set to bridge Los Angeles and Tokyo. Under the tagline - as a non-profit web radio collective devoted to the growth of positive music, art and culture - dublab have constantly crafted large scale creative projects that extend out from the radio platform - from art shows to video screenings and film productions to mind expanding live gigs.

"Light from Los Angeles" is the latest audio visual project that sees a collective of LA's brighest musicians craft a new song and video as a snapshot of contemporary creativity in the City of Angels captured exclusively on Digital Harinezumi cameras. The roll call of artists includes the likes of Carlos Niño & Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, Dntel, ESP, Lucky Dragons, Ras G and many, many more and are all being screened throughout March at the Shower Room Factory in Daikanyama, Tokyo. The songs and films, under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial copyright license, are available to be remixed, the idea that Japanese (and worldwide) artists will be inspired to create their own re-imaginations of these songs and films.

Satellite Voices: When was your first time in Japan?
Frosty: dublab first visited Japan in November 2003 for our "Up Our Sleeve" art show. We presented this at Rocket Gallery in Tokyo and Conquest in Kyoto. It was an LA invasion for sure. We had about 25 people come with us for the show.

SV: What other dublab projects have you held in Japan?
Frosty: We've been really fortunate to bring many dublab happenings to Japan. We presented our "Into Infinity" art show there a few times in several cities. We've screened our film "Secondhand Sureshots" there and had lots of fun live music and DJ nights around the country. Folks like Creative Commons Japan have been really supportive to our creative mission.

SV: What inspires you with the art, film and music scene in Japan?
Frosty: Artists in Japan have a great dedication to craft. They put so much focused energy into creating work that is multi-layered and astonishingly detailed. Even the wildest looking splashes of wild colour and sound are often created with great thought and skill. There is also a pretty great emphasis on recycling and shredding up existing material and sources into totally new, incredible output.

SV: How do you see the relationship between the Los Angeles and Tokyo music and art scenes?
Frosty: Many members of the dublab collective and our peers are fortunate to have the opportunity to frequently travel to Japan. We're always welcomed with open arms. People are always enthusiastic to be exposed to new creative ideas and we're always ready to share them so it's a great relationship. We're always thrilled when Japanese artists come visit LA. They seem to really dig and be inspired by the diverse culture here. 

SV: Is there a collective inspired and optimistic vibe from the LA films and songs?
Frosty: We urged the artists who we invited to contribute to "Light from Los Angeles" to infuse their songs and films with LA vibes. This is a document of people making vibrant sounds and visions in a vast and inspiring city. LA is a beautiful sunny place but it's not a shallow environment devoid of the wide range of human emotion. Next to bright moments you have melancholy tones as well. Art is meant to explore the full expanse of human emotion so we're trying to let it all shine.
SV: What three things (music / food / vibe / attitude etc) do you feel are only found in a) LA and b) Tokyo
Frosty: a) LA is often considered to be the most diverse city on the world. We are living within a wild kaleidescope of influences from around the world. It's great to have all of these cultures buzzing around and adding to the overall tapestry of our community. Artists here hungry to explore and create unique expressions influenced by this city's cultural collage.

b) Tokyo is buzzing brightly all the time. It's the city that is flashing with stimulation but this is the surface and not the full story.  It's also a place filled with great delicacies and quite beauty. Just visit Yoyogi Park in the heat of rush hour and you'll forget you're in a wild metropolis.

SV: What's next for dublab worldwide?
Frosty: The "Light from Los Angeles" songs will be available in LP form soon. Yay! We'll be launching dublab.jp in the near future. We're really thrilled to have an enthusiastic group of music lovers take the helm to bring dublab vibes directly to the people of Japan. We've also got some fun music releases in the works with our great friends at Disques-Corde. We love Japan!

dublab art by Kofie and Jesse Lisa / Frosty in the dublab studios

Light from Los Angeles runs to March 31 at Shower Room Factory @

3F Grava Daikanyama
1-1 Daikanyama
Shibuya, Tokyo

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