Last night a DJ saved my life!
What can you expect from a person whose mother used to sing “yellow submarine” to him when he was a baby so that he would eat?
Well, in the long run it would end up immersed in a sea of music, navigating the waves of sounds that reach our shores, where the (K)crabs live.
The beginning of my interest in musical recordings dates back to the 70’s when my father bought a portable cassette tape recorder. I perfectly remember recording my first tapes with the music programs that were broadcast by the first network, (well, the only one that existed then). In the mid-1970s, my parents bought a Hi-Fi system (a luxury at the time) and installed it in their bedroom. After a while they realized that they made a big mistake by installing it in their bedroom; they had to move her to another room to get the little squatter music lover out of her bedroom.
When I look through a family photo album, I realize that I’ve been doing music for others since I was little; there are photos where I appear when I am 14 or 15 years old with headphones on, playing with my parents’ record player at birthday parties that I prepared for my little sister or at parties with friends from the gang. But due to various vicissitudes of life, I never managed to establish myself as a disc jockey in clubs or discos at that time. When I was older, in 1999, I met DJ Raymond Höfler, (promoter of festivals such as “Inspiración Tenerife”, “Colores” or “Jazzindance”), and it was he who gradually introduced me to this world. That’s where I started recording my first sessions but I still hadn’t decided to make the leap to DJing for the public.
It was 2010 when I finally started DJing at events, but finally I made myself known to the public as Mr.Kangrejo, collaborating since 2011 and for several years with the Photobrik solidarity photographic project. From there, I made my first forays into venues in Gran Canaria, Tenerife, La Palma, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, Segovia, Avilés and Madrid; as in various festivals: ‘Jazzindance’, ‘Noches de Soul’, ‘África Vive’, ‘Mueca’, ‘Sonidos Líquidos’, ‘Maspalomas Costa Canaria Soul Festival’, ‘Festival Internacional Canarias Jazz & más Heineken’ and ‘WOMAD’ . For six years I promoted and organized the Jazzindace event in Las Palmas, a Raymond Höfler project that was organized jointly in Tenerife and Gran Canaria, with the collaboration of DJ Carlos Arnay.
If my sessions are characterized by something, it is by their eclecticism when selecting the themes, it is more; I consider myself more of a music selector than a DJ, hence my determination to always achieve a selection of far-fetched songs that at the same time enrich the session and are to the public’s liking. I try to evoke a whole range of sounds, a journey that transports us from the fifties to the eighties, a journey in which I invite you to enjoy sounds with black roots and rhythms with a deep groove.
My interest in DJing is due to a personal concern that leads me to share “black music” and on the other hand to temporarily escape from this “abstract” that we are experiencing.
I usually play mainly Afro-American music and almost all its aspects. I consider that I am in a “permanent state of experimentation and learning”, since the musical spectrum of this genre is immense. My main musical influence comes from jazz and its derivatives. When you feel and understand the great groundbreaking magnitude of this genre, all that it meant, not only musically, but also socially and culturally, as well as its great influence on all subsequent musical styles; one has the ability to create and find analogies with other types of expressions that allow me to fuse the most deeply rooted jazz with other genres.
Soul and funk are also very present in my sessions, precisely because they are styles that transmit a lot of groove. For me, a session doesn’t make sense if it doesn’t manage to transfer “sensations” to the public and make it vibrate.
The influence of disco music runs through my veins since it was the musical style of the first records that my parents gave me, when I was about 12 years old, back in 78. They were the first recordings that I began to collect and that I heard over and over again on the turntable.
Other influences, logically, are received by the evolution of musical styles, by the times you live in, (my first jazz influences began in college), or by colleagues you get to know, as in the case of Raymond Hofler; From him I received my first influences in acid jazz, nu-jazz, philly soul, rare grooves and soulful house.
Festivals like WOMAD have served me to nourish myself with a range of sounds intermingled with other musical cultures such as African, Brazilian, Arab, Asian, Latin American, etc.
When they ask me about my favorite song, album, musician or band, I don’t usually answer because the spectrum of musical styles that I’m passionate about is so wide that it would be impossible for me; I recognize that I would enter into a real mental conflict debating, for example, between “Kind of Blue” by Miles Davis or “Blue Train” by John Coltrane. Music is pure emotional feeling, it is capable of evoking and bringing to the present memories of your childhood, youth, moments and experiences lived and shared. And all this depends on the situation you’re going through at the time you listen to that record. There are days that I enjoy and get more excited putting on an opera record than any other record in my collection.
I could not conceive of a life without music. Silence is for the dead.