Dublab: Pioneering Future Roots

Dublab has never told a DJ what they can and cannot play during a set. In fact, the independently broadcasted web radio collective boasts a hefty roster of music mongering DJ's, who have become known for their eclectic and progressive outlook on music. Since the radio station started pumping microgenre musical forms over online airplay in 1999, listeners have been able to tune in for fresh music that crosses genres and defies classification, unlike traditional radio.

What started out as the brainchild of Mark “Frosty” McNeill and Ale Cohen while the two were running the student radio station at USC, has now become an essential voice of Los Angeles music and a thriving musical community, extending as far their Japan, Spain, and Germany-based stations. Having long been at the forefront of alternative and experimental genres of music, Dublab has garnered a reputation as a pioneer for ego-less radio, and harboring a creative environment for collaboration and the cultivation of young, growing artists.

Dublab's archives are a plethora of musical rarities and a testament to the radio station's knack for spotting innovative artists and cutting-edge talent. If you look at the dates on some of their sessions and then you look at the people who’ve become successful, typically their Dublab sessions are very early on in their careers. Animal Collective did a live set at Dublab in it's inaugural year; Atlas Sound played live at Dublab in 2000; both Shlomo and Teen Girl Fantasy were interns there; Flying Lotus used to casually hang around the office in 2004, and tons of other LA electronic music legends - Daedelus, DJ Koze, and Ras G - make up the Dublab catalog.

Spend any amount of time tuned into Dublab and you're sure to hear the newest, freshest music straight out of the studio. You might hear a song from an artist that's never been released, and might not be for another year, but you'll also hear something that came out in the early sixties. It's an extensive mix that Dublab has coined "future roots". No matter what sounds are playing over the Dublab airwaves, the radio's close knit team is always trying something different on all fronts; the interactive front, the art front, the music front.

We recently stopped by Dublab's reoccurring Labrat Matinee series where Stones Throw Records founder, Peanut Butter Wolf presented his "Video Commandments," a range of obscure and entrancing video recordings that the DJ has collected over the years. The night was a mix of nostalgia and discovery, that left us running home to try and dig up some of these videos. Everything from public access TV clips to random outtakes from workout videos to rare home footage of the Beastie Boys, Peanut Butter Wolf shared a ton of his favorite clips that he sampled from his extensive collection of VHSs, DVDs, laserdiscs, and U-Matic tapes.

Tune in to Dublab here.