Wednesday, April 14, 2010

#35... Retrowaxing with Kid Koala

Whenever I start thinking to myself that there are no DJ's out there that I appreciate, I remind myself that there is always Kid Koala. After growing up in Vancouver, BC, Eric San moved to Montreal where he began to record under the name Kid Koala as a DJ and Turntabilist. He is well known for his enigmatic style of turntabilism which uses an unusual collection of samples. He has been known to frequently use samples of music from archaic television specials, old comedy sketch routines (including those which mock turntablism) and people reading a menu in Cantonese.

When Jon More (co-owner of famed UK record label Ninja Tune) came to visit Montreal in 1995, Eric's innovative and humourous mix tape "Scratchcratchratchatch" ended up playing on the car stereo. Shortly thereafter, Eric, now Kid Koala, became Ninja Tune's first North American signing.

A short time later, Kid Koala released a string of remixes and began touring his new material across North America with fellow Ninja Tune artists such as Coldcut, DJ Food and DJ Vadim. But it was not long before his skill, innovation, and performance style led him to attract attention from those outside the club community. In 1998, he received an invitation to join Money Mark's band, and then went on the road to open for the Beastie Boys on their "Hello Nasty" world tour.

In February of 2000, Ninja Tune released Kid Koala's first full album "Carpal Tunnel Syndrome". The album received great praise and was featured in the international press for having defied expectation. The album was accompanied by both a video game and 32-page comic illustrated by Kid Koala himself. A tour featuring 6 turntables and live musicians soon followed and took the young artist throughout North America and Europe.

But while he was on the road, new projects were brewing. Kid Koala continued to keep himself busy on his downtime with the help of pencil and paper. Many sketch books later, his first book Nufonia Must Fall was published in March of 2003 by ECW Press. This 350-page illustrated love story about an out-of-work robot and a workaholic girl was accompanied by a 'soundtrack' of short record of original, experimental piano-based compositions. The original music and his characters set the stage for a North American tour of intimate, sit-down venues, during which Kid Koala lay his fingers down not only on the turntables, but on the Wurlitzer- and on the remote control of an old slide projector.

Here is my fave album by Kid Koala! Enjoy

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