Klangbox.FM Relaunches as Miami's Premier Radio Station in an Airstream

Patrick Walsh and Laura Sutnick at the new Klangbox.FM mobile HQ.
Patrick Walsh and Laura Sutnick at the new Klangbox.FM mobile HQ. @Gallivanti
click to enlarge Patrick Walsh and Laura Sutnick at the new Klangbox.FM mobile HQ. - @GALLIVANTI
Patrick Walsh and Laura Sutnick at the new Klangbox.FM mobile HQ.
She's shiny, she's sleek, and at 50 years young, she's getting a whole new lease on life. Her name is Rosie, and she's the 1969 Airstream Globetrotter trailer helping to take Miami's Klangbox.FM mobile.

When Laura Sutnick and Patrick Walsh launched Klangbox in the summer of 2013, the longtime friends had been fixtures in the Miami nightlife and music scenes for years. Together, they helmed Nightdrive, a New Times Best of Miami award-winning music blog and events platform responsible for introducing the city to countless underground and electronic artists from around the world.

Klangbox.FM, which synthesized Sutnick and Walsh's years of combined experience DJ'ing, promoting, and curating the city's burgeoning indie nightlife culture, was the next logical step in their evolution. Since its inception, the online radio station championed Miami's homegrown music talent by presenting a dynamic roster of local DJs while also inviting cutting-edge international artists to headline the pair's flagship party at Floyd, Extra Credit.

After more than a year on hiatus, during which the team continued DJ'ing and producing parties around the city, the web-based radio station enjoyed its official relaunch earlier this year at a special Extra Credit featuring Norwegian DJ and producer Skatebård — along with the long-awaited debut of Rosie.
click to enlarge @GALLIVANTI
"We were seeing all these stations around the world that have these original headquarters and places that they do broadcasts from," Sutnick says of the impetus to go live from a refurbished Airstream trailer. "We wanted to do something different."

When Klangbox first launched, it made its home in a closet-size corner studio at the LAB coworking space in Wynwood. "It was like a little cave," Sutnick says, and they were often limited in the noise they could make. After toying with the idea for years and doing lots of research and troubleshooting, the duo finally found and bought the Airstream, gutted it, and transformed it into the supercute, high-functioning mobile studio and radio HQ it is today.

"We plan on taking advantage of the fact that the studio does function as a mobile DJ booth," says Walsh, who foresees pop-ups at places such as Technique Records and Rakastella festival. "We can go to the action and don't necessarily have to have people show up to where we are."

Although they haven't settled on a permanent parking spot for Rosie, they say they're working on a deal with a local venue whose lot can accommodate her as well as the community gatherings Klangbox plans to host. A hatch on the side of the trailer opens like a food truck window, allowing views into the studio and any DJs who might be playing inside. Rosie is also equipped with a sound system, and the plan is to make her available for rentals as well.
click to enlarge @GALLIVANTI
As for the music programming, expect the same highly curated mix of local talent that's filled Klangbox's radio stream in the past, with more emphasis on DJs over talk shows. Training and a fixed schedule are still in the works, but rising favorites such as Nick León, Sister System, and Jonny From Space will join longtime staples such as Terence Tabeau, Mystic Bill, and Erick Rojas to round out the growing roster. Special broadcasts will include live sets from out-of-town DJs headlining Extra Credit or other parties around the city.

"We really want to be in a public space where people can see it, where they can interact with people," Walsh says of the reinvented radio station. "We want it to be a place where DJs don’t feel like they just come and do their show and then leave. They can hang out, have a drink after or before, and actually develop a culture around the station."

Klangbox.FM the website and radio stream are live, but upgrades are on the horizon on that front as well. Though they don't plan to offer constant live video streaming as some online stations do, Sutnick and Walsh promise there will be plenty of in-studio video content and live streaming as the site continues to develop.
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Falyn Freyman is a freelance multimedia journalist based in Miami.
Contact: Falyn Freyman