Skills To Pay The Bills

DJ Abilities On The 1’s and 2’s

By Kyle Eustice

DJ Abilities, real name Gregory Keltgen, has had a rough year. First and foremost, he lost his best friend, label mate and artistic counterpart, Eyedea (real name Mikey Larsen), last October to an accidental opiate overdose. Since then, there’s been a lot of grieving, not only from Keltgen, but also from the rest of the Rhymesayers’ family. As one half of Eyedea and Abilities, Keltgen produced weirdo hip-hop that appealed to all types of people. With Mikey gone now, Keltgen is forging ahead with fellow Rhymesayer One Be Lo on “The Laborhood Tour,” which hits The Waiting Room stage this Tuesday.

How do you make that guitar sound with your turntables?

We took our break, and I got really into scratching. I just wanted to explore that more and get better. I wanted to do something truly unique. So I went away for a while, and a lot of things started emerging. Mikey was helpful, in the sense that he played guitar, and some of the stuff I’m scratching are actually guitar notes. Thanks to Serato, you can take anything and put it on vinyl.

How do you practice for a show?

I’d break each sentence into syllables. That technique required a lot of hand strength and hand memory, which a lot of DJs don’t necessarily do. They do more with the fader, less with the record. It required me to learn a lot of control. Then, in place of syllables, I’d make notes.

What kind of music do you like to listen to on a regular basis?

Coltrane is the best.

DJ Abilities with One Be Lo, November 1, at The Waiting Room, 6212 Maple St., 9 p.m. Tickets are $10. Visit for more information.

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