Origins, Philosophies & Futures | DJ K.Sabroso

Here at the FED we’re always looking for and listening to new music.  Music is the lifeblood of our dance and the lifeblood of many of our lives.  So from time to time we like to get to know the people who create, spin and dig for all the music we love.  DJ K SABROSO is a DJ we’ve come across recently that we really like.  We asked him to tell us a little about him self, how he approaches DJing and how he thinks digital technology has changed DJing.  Below are his thoughts.

The Bboy Federation | DJ K-Sabroso

The Background

Well… in 2005, I began breaking and collecting breakbeats in Indianapolis, IN. I soon began taking b-boying and writing graffiti much more seriously than my casual hobbies of Djing(vinyl), rapping, and producing. In 2008, I started throwing battles and in 2009 I took a break from the dance scene to start getting really serious about producing/composing my own music. The following year I began Djing digitally with the assistance of Serato.

At that time, my fundamental love of breakbeats as my favorite style of music was so strong that I felt the need to branch out into other styles so I didn’t become 1-dimensional as a producer. I feared that if I focused on making breaks(like I was naturally inclined to), I would never branch out into other styles. This lead me to experiment with Glitch, Downtempo, Trip-hop, Jungle, House, Lounge, Jazz, and Tropical styles for the next couple years. Each one of those styles taught me a lot about production and different ways to approach music.

In mid-late 2011, I started DJing some of the smaller local b-boy battles. Even in my dancing, I was always way more interested in beat-rocking with tops and footwork than blow-ups or power so I think that musicality gave me an insight into breaks that some other breakers-turned-DJ’s might not have had. The leaders of the b-boy community and the cats who threw the battles in Indiana really started taking notice of what I was doing… and over the course of the next year I became the DJ for all the battles in the state (and started branching out to battles/jams in Michigan, Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, and New York). During that time, I also did a lot of work with the Tomahawk Chapter of the Universal Zulu Nation and the street-wear/cultural empowerment company Wrecklords who were really supportive of my sound.

[blockquote align=”right”]Most recently, I felt like I had accomplished about as much as I could in Indiana so I moved to NYC in January. I guess we’ll see what happens for me out here…[/blockquote]

The Philosophy

As far as my opinions on the era of digital DJing… I think it’s a double-edged sword. Some people are going to come into the digital era and think “Software can detect the key of my songs so I don’t have to learn to select harmonic blends with my own ears, my djing program will automatically sync the tempos of my songs so I don’t have to learn to beatmatch, and I can just look at the beatport charts to figure out what’s hot instead of digging or doing research to find the music that really speaks to me”. People who view things that way are logically going to apply less effort to come up since a few downloads and installations will allow them to superficially sound like DJ’s from previous generations who spent years or even decades honing their skills before they got recognition. I think that’s a very natural response to the tools of DJing to become less-expensive and more accessible at the same time they became more advanced and user-friendly.

But I think that people with the spirit of innovation are going to continue to push boundaries, though. Look at the B-Boy/Housing DJ Franco De Leon in Chicago. Dude was been DJing with Ableton for years… and instead concentrating on physically mixing records, he uses that extra time to play instruments overtop of the tunes he’s rocking. To me, that’s fresh especially since it’s a different kind of performance than “regular” DJing. I see people like the Glitch Mob, Araabmusik, Jeremy Ellis, Ean Golden, and even beatboxers like Beardyman and Kid Beyond doing really creative and amazing stuff with newer technologies and I think it’s beautiful. To me, it’s just as amazing as what the Invisibl Skratch Picklz or the X-Ecutioners were doing 15 or 20 years ago.

[blockquote align=”left”]Another major plus side of digital Djing is that it allows me to instantly spin out the music I made without me having to send it out to be pressed to vinyl. [/blockquote] One of the things that really sets me apart from a lot of my peers among b-boy battle Dj’s is that I’m a prolific producer/remixer so it’s very common for me to spin breaks that I made from scratch or modified to make more danceable. That way I always have tunes/edits that my competition doesn’t. This would have been both difficult and prohibitively expensive in the era of vinyl(even if I owned my own vinyl press like Dj Swamp or LTJ Bukem).

I feel the same way about soundcloud and comparable services. Some people are just going to upload their work, share it to a few friends, and wonder why they didn’t instantly blow up. A lot of people are going to upload their music before their sound has matured(I sure as hell did) and contribute to the proliferation of mediocre music… but ultimately it functions as my musical portfolio, a subscription service to musicians I admire, and a great means to connect and network with other people who are crazy about music(why would they have a soundcloud account otherwise?).

Long story short, I started off as a vinyl Dj before the advent of the “clouds”… but my ability to adapt to and make use of these new tools has opened up a lot of doors for me that people stuck in the past wouldn’t necessarily have access to.[divider]

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