de-VICE #2

kid koala

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muzak of da month (march): prefuse 73
muzak of da month (april): tachiguishi retsuden soundtrack
de-VICE #1


text by the perspicacious
mr. timothy colman, esq.

He may have named himself after an iconic piece of Australian fauna, but Montreal's Kid Koala is less than familiar with the animal's temperament.
"They're kind of vicious, aren't they?" enquires Eric San, aka Kid Koala.

He may have named himself after an iconic piece of Australian fauna but
Montrealıs Kid Koala is less than familiar with the animalıs temperament.
"Theyıre kind of vicious arenıt they?" enquires Eric San aka Kid Koala.

No not really, they spend most of their time sleeping off the results of
excess eucalyptus consumption. "Really? Iım going to have to try some of
that when I get over," enthuses San. "Do they have any eucalyptus alcohol
down there?"

While he may have a thing or two to learn about local alcoholic beverages
Kid Koala has pretty much mastered the art of turntablism and vinyl
manipulation. Not as prolific as some of his contemporaries the Canadian
based artist produces painstakingly crafted pieces of twisted jazzy hip hop.
These unique sound collages havenıt gone unnoticed either with one of the
biggest bands in the world, Radiohead, inviting San to open for them in
front of 20,000 people at New Yorkıs Madison Square Garden.

"I was like, What the hell am I doing here?ı," says San. "Well they asked
me so thatıs probably why. The audience was very sweet. I knew it wasnıt
going to turn into a big dance party or anything, at least not for the 20
minutes I was playing. They had cameras and stuff on the turntables and put
it on their screens. They were very supportive. I think for a lot of the
audience theyıd never watched a DJ play like that before so I think they had
a good time."

Not many turntablists can list Madison Square Garden on their bio. Could it
be a sign turntable music is becoming understood within the mainstream
audience? "Whether it becomes mainstream really depends on what the stuff
sounds like," says San. "For me I think my stuffıs a little too weird to
ever go mainstream. You canıt sell cars with my music put it that way. Not
that thatıs a sign youıre going mainstream but at least thatıs something
people can relate to enough that people want to associate their product with
you. I donıt get those offers, unless someone comes up with a really weird
car one day."

What sort of car? "I donıt know, one that runs on yoghurt?"

Kid Koala albums are more than just a series of tracks thrown together. A
strong narrative permeates his work. In fact a comic, penned by San during
periods of musical writerıs block or long bus rides when on tour, has
accompanied each album. The comics go a little way to explain the twisted

"Iıd say if youıre confused at all by the audio on the CD if you can get
your head around the silent comic book, at least the humour involved in it,
itıll probably make a lot more sense," says San. "But Iım not saying if you
turn the page very four bars itıs going to make perfect sense all of a
sudden. Itıs just another way to look at it. For me itıs just stories,
musical stories."

While humour is a major part of the Kid Koala sound thereıs something else.
The robotic characters in Sanıs comics all suffer a romantic tragedy of some
description. Could a similar incident have occurred in Sanıs past?

"I think all DJs are romantics," says San. "Itıs a very romantic idea to be
a DJ. We started DJing because we thought it would be a good way to meet
girls back in high school. We were like, We can either be on the basketball
team but that doesnıt seem to be happening or maybe we could start a mobile
DJ system and weıll get invited to all the parties?ı Thatıs pretty romantic
wouldnıt you say?"

Did it work? "The tragic part is no it didnıt."

eric the kid...

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