Miami's Klangbox.FM: "Spotlighting the Incredible Talent We Have to Offer"
They're among Miami's most beloved DJs. You can catch them playing out most weekends at one hotspot or another, including for their Scaramouche party alongside world-class headliners.
And they're also among Miami's most respected underground dance music tastemakers, thanks to their Nightdrive blog -- a Miami New Times pick for Best Music Blog.
But perhaps Laura (of Miami) and Patrick Walsh's greatest service to Miami culture so far is the Klangbox.FM internet radio station that they launched in the summer of 2013. At the moment, it and its growing rotation of DJ shows is doing more to champion our homegrown indie music scene than perhaps any other local project.
"Continuing our work with the Nightdrive blog and events, it all comes down to bridging the gap between South Florida and the rest of the world," Patrick tells Crossfade. "We as a region have come a long way, but there's a lot of work to be done and a lot of music to be heard."
"We see ourselves as one grassroots project of many that are participants in sculpting Miami's evolving cultural identity. That doesn't only mean building the listening and dancing scene, but spotlighting some of the incredible DJ, production, and musicianship talent that we have to offer."
Laura is equally adamant about Nightdrive and Klangbox.FM's Miami-centricity.
"Our foundation consists of a DJ and host staff that have earned their stripes locally," she explains. "They have some of the most eclectic and innovative tastes in Miami, and we're very fortunate to be working with them.
"Our format and genres range [on Klangbox.FM], but we do have a leaning toward non-commercial electronic music," she adds. "We include hip-hop with Soarse Spoken and DJ Y-Not's Paid in Full show, [my own] long-standing disco show Vamos A La Playa, SAFE Radio handles the more experimental side of techno, house heads Lazaro Casanova and Oscar G host Futro, while Gooddroid gives us a heavy hand of bass music with Bright Future.
"We're also lucky to have Cuci [Amador] from Afrobeta hosting I Love You, Miami, exclusively featuring music by local musicians and producers, and a talk show called pFunkcast that interviews local artists, innovators, and entrepreneurs."
Physically located inside Wynwood collaborative work space The LAB, Klangbox.FM joins other like-minded local creatives shaping Miami's growing alternative culture.
"What Miami lacks is infrastructure," laments Patrick. "A lot of things need to be in place for an authentic cultural revival and it's not just talent. We need education, access to tools, professional skills, a sense of community and a list on intangibles that make a 'scene' happen."
"We're always down to party, but we also need to produce," he adds. "Some of it is organic, some of it isn't. We see [Klangbox.FM] as one piece of the puzzle, offering a medium to express ourselves as a scene, and bring people together in a way I don't see often enough."
Of course, these days, radio's existence is being increasingly threatened by digital-music service innovations. But for Laura and Patrick, the human DJ still can't be replaced.
"More and more, people have greater access to an endless supply of original music," says Patrick. "With the emergence of Pandora, Spotify and other applications, you can be exposed to a lot of music. But I think there will always be an appreciation for good curation by a third party."
"Building a program and expressing yourself through conceptual song selection can't be replaced by algorithms -- yet. There's a very complex human process that's involved in the decision to put one song before another. It's why we still hire DJs to set the mood rather than depending on our smart phones."
Now, as much as Klangbox.FM has done for our local scene during its short time on the Internet airwaves, Miami is only ground zero -- Laura and Patrick have already started expanding the radio's repertoire beyond South Florida.
"Right now, we're focusing mainly on our international programs," explains Patrick. "We're set to launch our second international show from Oslo, Norway, and we're working on L.A. and New York in the immediate future as well."
"We're also working with global music festivals and arranging ticket giveaways and other benefits," adds Laura. "For example, we'll be giving away Moogfest tickets this week. We're very excited about that. We're also very excited about Winter Music Conference, since we'll be broadcasting live from many events and interviewing many of the artists who are coming to town."
Visit Klangbox.FM for the radio's full program schedule and tune in to support Miami's local music scene.
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