* The Turntables On The Hudson OUTDOORS party at Water Taxi Beach got rained out, SORRY, folks. The TOTH crew is working on rescheduling the date. For now get ready to party today, July 24th, at Astoria Park in the morning and Bembe at night!
Category Archives: Sol*Selectas
* I think the first time I saw Sabo spin was at Bembe last Summer. All I remember is that it was fun, the place was packed, and everybody was dancing and drinking. As the new upcoming DJ that I was at the moment trying to learn from every DJ I saw, it was magic.
Over a year had passed and I still enjoy the man doing his thing cus he really knows how to command a crowd and he can play anything like it’s the only thing he plays. Not to mention, he’s a cool dude!
A few weeks ago I asked Sabo to sit down for an interview since he just released the new EP from his Sol*Selectas label and I wanted to chat with him about it and some other stuff…
Don_Cerati – How did Sabo got into the DJ world?
Sabo – I started going to raves back in the early 90’s. Before I went to school in Boston, I was in a boarding school. But the real shit started when I did an exchange program in Spain when I was 15. And you can go to clubs and drink and smoke and everything. So I was going to clubs and that was the 1st time I heard techno in a club and I was like “this shit’s sick”. When I came back, I was in boarding school in NJ and I would take the bus to meet with NYU friends to spend the weekends and go to places like NASA and the early rave parties in NY back in 93 or 92. And then I was like “I wanna be a DJ” So that’s how it started.
DC – So you started with that sound?
Sabo – Yeah, like, techno, breaks, acid…I mean, but I always like hip-hop before that so it kind of all mixed together, you know.
DC – Do you remember your first gig?
Sabo – The first official gig I had was an after party in Boston. After some big rave they had a big empty warehouse and I played before Dale Charles, who was like a big influence for me at the time.
DC – You mention Dale Charles as an influence in your career, what other people influenced you into becoming what you are now?
Sabo – Strictly from a DJ stand-point I would say Frank Ryde, Dante, Louie Vega, Mix Master Mike, Spun, Osunlade, Mark Farina, Turntables on the Hudson, and recently Culoe de Song, Martinez Brothers, Karizma, and Boddhi Satva
DC – How did you start spinning world music?
Sabo – You know, I kind of always liked it. I always like the more percussive stuff. Then I dated a girl from Ecuador and I remember she turned me on to a Miami bass remix of El Africano called Miami El Negro and then I started really searching for that sound of latin mixed with freestyle and breaks.
DC – How did you start with Turntables on the Hudson, how did that came about?
Sabo – When I moved here in 1999 I didn’t really know anybody, any DJs. I mean, I knew, but not enough to play out. To make long story short, the guy that was selling weed to my roommate at the time was a friend of Nickodemus and told me about the parties. At the time I was making mix tapes and the guy was like “dude, that shit’s sick you should come to the parties” So I went to the party and it was off the hook, this was at an ice hockey ring. This was also at the beginning by like the second summer.
The thing is that I was buying records every week, even though I wasn’t playing out, and I would go to the parties and those guys were playing the same stuff I was buying. So I was “man, I got to meet these people”
Eventually I made a raga-dub mix tape, Dub Aglio e Olio, with Drum & Base and some other shitand I gave it to Nickodemus. Then I kept going to the parties every week so eventually Nicko asked me if I wanted to open for them one night and said “hell yeah”. That night he let me play a little longer.
For a while I was an opening DJ, for a long time. Or I would play on the side, not on the main floor.
DC – In those days how did you open without trying to overpower the main DJs?
Sabo – I would play really slow. Downtempo, Trip-Hop, you know, and then build it up. You don’t wanna come out bad, you gotta set the mood. I would always bring a pack of bangers in case they offer me to get on.
DC – So what about the beginnings of Sol* Selectas?
Sabo – That was like 2004-2005. I just started Djing a lot more and since everyone was producing and I had these ideas in my head, I wanted to make my own remixes. So that’s how it started, I just wanted to make a few remixes. But at the beginning I didn’t know how to produce. I started with Reason and I couldn’t figure it out so I ask Zeb if he could give me lessons. Jump/NYC (Wonderwheel), and then the next record I put out was Sol*Selectas EP #1. And it just went from there..
DC – How did you come up with the idea for the EP #9?
Sabo – Number 9 was actually made two summers ago. I don’t know if you have the #6 I did with Uriel from Mexico. He lived here a couple of summers ago. So we used to hang out a lot and we produced a lot of shit. We did the whole #6 and we did those songs [from #9] as well. I always wanted to do a tech house track and then I had that gospel sample.
DC – tell me about the latest Sol*Selectas EP
Sabo – Number 10. Well, I wanted to do more Disco Balearic stuff and I had those tracks
working on for a while. So when my friend Eduardo [Castillo] send me that Radiohead Remix I told him I wanted to put that out and that i had the prefect project cus I had 3 more song in that tempo. The record is sold out already. I’m gonna re-press it because from the distributor is sold out.
So from now is just digital. Too expensive and it can take a whole year to get the money. I already have EP #11 ready to go. It’s gonna be Joyce [Muniz] cus she made a couple of Cumbia House tracks that are sick.
DC – What’s your take on how technology (DJ softwares) has affected (for good or bad) the DJ game?
Sabo – You could write a book on this but basically it’s another tool for playing the music, and even though some programs now even mix for you, it still will never automate good taste nor one’s ability to read a crowd, so in the end, even if another DJ has every song you have, they will not play them the same way, or at the same moment, and I hope that is what sets apart good DJ from bad ones…
DC – Right now what are your top 3 places to gig in NYC?
DC – Can you name your top 5 tracks at this moment?
DC – Can you give any advice for upcoming DJs?
Sabo – Produce tracks and keep them coming out as often as possible. Make mixes and give them away for free. Play the music you love or you will burn out fast as a request DJ.
For more info on Sabo and Sol*Selectas go to www.solselectas.com
Oh yea..Sabo was nice enough to hit us off with an exclusive. Download Sabo’s newest single “Artistiya” from Afro Balearic EP for FREE :