Band of the Day

2013.09.13

Kid Koala

Antiquated blues vocal samples skillfully revamped by a modern scratch DJ/visual artist
However, as a beginner it's best to just kill everyone as fast as you can by using the pump iron.
lyrics from Emperor's Main Course

Kid Koala is a world-renowned scratch DJ who has made a name for himself not only with his music, but also with his visual art. He has released three solo albums on Ninja Tune: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (2001), Some of My Best Friends Are DJs (2003), Your Mom's Favorite DJ (2006), Space Cadet (2011) and 12 bit Blues (2012). He has also been involved in collaborations such as Gorillaz, Deltron 3030, and The Slew, and has toured with the likes of Radiohead, the Beastie Boys, Money Mark, John Medeski, A Tribe Called Quest, Mike Patton, Jack Johnson, DJ Shadow, and The Preservation Hall Jazz Band. He has contributed to scores for director Edgar Wright's Shaun of the Dead and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World as well as director Rian Johnson's Looper and has composed music for The National Film Board of Canada, the Cartoon Network, and Adult Swim. His unforgettable live shows range from silly touring turntable carnivals like Short Attention Span Theater (featuring turntable bingo) to quiet-time events like Music To Draw To.

Back in 1996, Kid Koala became the first North American artist signed to UK label Ninja Tune. In the years that followed Kid Koala released a string of remixes and toured North America with fellow Ninja artists: 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 was invited 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 2000, Ninja Tune released Kid Koala’s debut album 'Carpal Tunnel Syndrome', which received international praise by the press for having defied expectation. The album featured a video game and a 32-page comic illustrated by Kid Koala himself. Following the release of the album Kid Koala toured extensively in North America and Europe as a member of groups such as Deltron 3030, Lovage, Bullfrog and on his own, opening for some of his favorite artists, Radiohead and Bjork.

While on the road, Kid Koala kept busy with pen to paper, illustrating a 350-page book called 'Nufonia Must Fall', accompanied by a soundtrack that he composed on the piano. Shortly after the release of this book came the release of his second album, 'Some of My Best Friends are DJs' complete with a 50-page comic book and mini chess game. This album was supported by a cabaret-style tour known as 'The Short Attention Span Theatre', which featured 3 DJs on 8 turntables, a slide show and a bingo game among other quirky surprises. Following this tour Kid Koala performed DJ sets in Australia, Asia, Europe, Russia, North America and South America, all the while working on a new book.

On 2006's 'Your Mom's Favorite DJ' (Ninja Tune), Kid Koala shows that his chosen means of expression (the turntable) is used not as a way of showing that he can do faster crabs than anyone else, but as a way of telling stories. Although there is the romance, silent movie comedy and swing that your mother may well smile at and even shake her booty to, the enthralling deftness and complexity you’d expect from Kid Koala is also here - woven together with classic hip hop beats, breaks and generous swathes of heavy guitars.

In 2009, Kid Koala put together 3 'Music to Draw To' performances in Montreal for which he basically invited people to come and draw while he played records. There was no dancing allowed, but people could enjoy a free cup of hot chocolate, purchase some treats and either draw or do some writing. These events were initially created just for fun, but they became a huge success. As the series progressed, he received more and more requests for us to take our event to other parts of Quebec, North America, Europe... Even South America and South Africa...

Later that year, Kid Koala embarked on another journey, that of presenting a project called 'The Slew' – live with the former rhythm section of Grammy Award-winning Australian rock band Wolfmother. Featuring drums, bass/keys and DJs working across a truly excessive six turntables, the set featured raw guitar cuts and heavy beats that set out as a one-time-only tour across North America. Due to the high demand by fans for a return and the amount of fun the band had playing together, they toured the North American Jazz Festival circuit and also appeared at SONAR Spain and Chicago. Somewhere in between their busy tour schedule the ex-Wolfmother rhythm section joined Kid Koala in the studio to lay down some new songs.