Sometimes a DJ comes along who challenges everything you thought you knew about a place like Salt Lake City (SLC), Utah. Sometimes it’s actually two DJs, but you don’t know that at first because they have a confusing name like “C0zmosph3re” or something.
Never fear – SumPPLzKids may not have the whole spelling thing down, but they at least had the foresight to put their stage name as a duo in the plural form.
Don’t let their tongue-in-cheek moniker fool you, either. Although SumPPLzkids refuse to take themselves too seriously they most certainly know how to throw down, and their signature blend of bass music, electro house and breakbeat has made SumPPLzKids a household name in SLC’s vibrant nightlife scene.
Gulbransen and Ybarra became friends in middle school while growing up in SLC’s Sugarhouse suburb, which came to be known as the area’s Haight and Ashbury after an acid wave had swept over it during the hippy era. Somewhere in the haze, Ybarra converted Gulbransen over to electronic music. After teaching themselves to beatmatch on a single Stanton Turntable and an old, ‘70s vinyl record player, they set out to play local house parties as Good-e and Deejay Blotter, respectively.
With limited resources at their disposal, they started out playing with the cheapest gear they could find: an all-in-one CDJ/mixer combo called the Gem Sounds CMP 500, on which their CDs constantly skipped from speaker vibrations. Whether due to their humble beginnings or their longstanding penchant for tomfoolery, during a particularly eventful outing a partygoer remarked of the duo, “Some people’s kids, man.”
…And the rest is history.
In addition to their shiny new stage name, SumPPLzKids soon upgraded to better equipment and sharpened their skills behind the decks. In 2012 their DJ career leveled up significantly when they played the Club Sound basement for the Vandal Productions event Kandyland 6, for which they drew a sizeable crowd.
Shortly thereafter, Gulbransen and Ybarra founded the production company Audiocrush and launched a residency called Saturday Night Crush on the main floor of Club Sound. Over the lifespan of the series, they warmed up the decks for such headliners as Arty and Sean Tyas. It didn’t take long for SumPPLzKids to add numerous other SLC locations to their résumé; in the years since, they’ve performed at The Great Saltair, The Complex, In the Venue and The Hotel.
As of 2016, their releases began to turn heads as well. The SumPPLzKids remix of Henrik B and Rudy’s “Leave A Light On” got picked up by the media outlet Rhythm And Breaks, exposing their hyphy style of broken beat to a wider audience. Now that they’ve got several more originals and remixes locked and loaded, the duo are getting ready to take the EDM world by storm.
As much as things have looked up for Gulbransen and Ybarra since they started playing records, though, they’re still just as fun loving and approachable as they’ve always been. Despite the pretense that all too often enshrouds DJs in this day and age, the biggest thing SumPPLzKids hope to convey through each performance is that you should pursue your passion no matter how unrealistic it may be. After all, we’re all somebody’s kids, right?
If you have a chance to catch a DJ set by SumPPLzKids, prepare for a high-energy audiovisual experience that bounces frenetically between electro house, breaks and dubstep. Make sure to keep an eye out for new releases from the SLC duo as well – they’re only just getting started.