Slacker Logo


Kid Koala

Chinese-Canadian turntablist Kid Koala was born Eric San in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1975. Classically trained on the piano, San instead put his fingers to work on a pair of Technics 1200s starting in the late '80s. He was a college pub DJ and bedroom turntable manipulator for nearly a decade before landing a recording deal with U.K. experimental hip-hop duo Coldcut's Ninja Tune imprint in 1997. San's eclectic approach to sound collage is actually closer to the latter's far-flung beat experiments than the old-school New York and L.A. references that most often form the canon of the scratch DJ's art. It's also a circle-closer of sorts: San's nascent mixing aesthetic was influenced early on by classic Coldcut records such as "(Hey Kids) What Time Is It?" and their "7 Minutes of Madness" massacre of Eric B. & Rakim's "Paid in Full." The coincidence of Koala signing to his heroes' label, despite the fact that it was based thousands of miles away, and home mostly to instrumental trip-hop and computer funk producers, was less a coincidence than it would at first appear. San managed to arrange an "inadvertent" car ride with the group when their label's Stealth tour passed through Montreal in 1996, making sure his mixtape, Scratchappyland, was in the car stereo well beforehand. Excerpts from that tape doubled as Kid Koala's identically titled solo debut when Ninja Tune, duly impressed, released it as a 10" in July 1997. Koala also appeared on the second volume of the Bomb's Return of the DJ compilation with his track "Static's Waltz," another excerpt from his mixtape. Subsequent Ninja Tune releases included Kid Koala remixes of DJ Food's "Scratch Yer Head" and (fittingly) Coldcut's classic "Beats and Pieces." From there, Koala became a major member of the Ninja Tune roster, as he released several warmly received projects. His first full-length, the bewildering yet seamless Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (2000), was quickly regarded a turntablism classic. After collaborations with Dan the Automator, Gorillaz, and Deltron 3030, he released a follow-up, Some of My Best Friends Are DJ's (2003). Live from the Short Attention Span Audio Theater (2005) was a brief CD/DVD set, quickly trailed by the mixtape-style Your Mom's Favorite DJ (2006). Something of a diversion, Phon-O-Victo (2007) found Koala teaming with experimental turntablist Martin Tétreault. The subdued, piano-driven Space Cadet (2011) accompanied his graphic novel of the same title, inspired by the birth of his daughter. 12 Bit Blues (2012), perfectly titled, was made with an SP-1200 sampler and a multi-track recorder. ~ Sean Cooper & Andy Kellman
Read More Read Less

Stations Featuring
Kid Koala

Albums by
Kid Koala

Top Songs by
Kid Koala

  1.   Song
  2.   Basin Street Blues
  3.   2 Bit Blues
  4.   Grandmaphone Speaks
  5.   No, Fantasy Island!
  6.   9 Bit Blues
  7.   Dawn: Page 97
  8.   Strut Hear
  9.   Pluto Attack (La Revanche des Exclus)
  10.   Left Side: Start Heeeeears Koala/Stoppin' Traffic/Tracks Etc./Slewtest
  11.   Nerdball
  12.   Page 278
  13.   Flu Season
  14.   A Night at the Nufonia
  15.   Return: Page 125
  16.   Window: Page 25
  17.   6 Bit Blues
  18.   Cardboard Stars, Seashells: Page 100
  19.   11 Bit Blues
  20.   Expedition: Page 45
  21.   Space Cadet 2
  22.   Today Tomorrow: Page 37
  23.   8 Bit Blues (Chicago to LA to NY)
  24.   Hope: Page 115
  25.   Like Irregular Chickens
  26.   Negatron Speaks
  27.   L 'Ile aux Trésors?
  28.   Naptime
  29.   1 Bit Blues (10,000 Miles)
  30.   5 Bit Blues
  31.   Vacation Island
  32.   Robochacha
  33.   Barhopper 2
  34.   Main Title Theme: Open Your Book
  35.   Denouement
  36.   Right Side: Slew Test 2/Gimme a K!/Mosquito vs. Waterbuffalo/Slew Test
  37.   Drunk Trumpet
  38.   The DJ Factory Turn Crazy
  39.   Skanky Panky
  40.   Stompin' At Le Savoy
  41.   Radio Nufonia
  42.   Fender Bender
  43.   Void: Page 86
  44.   Remembrance: Page 10
  45.   Barhopper 1
  46.   Goodbye: Page 8
  47.   Emperor's Main Course in Cantonese
  48.   Godzilla a les Blues
  49.   Strat Hear
  50.   Scurvy
  51.   7 Bit Blues
  52.   Speed Of Light: Page 102
  53.   On the Set of Fender Bender
  54.   4 Bit Blues
  55.   Page 275
  56.   Roll Credits
  57.   Recyclotron: Page 110
  58.   Third World Lover by Dynomite D.
  59.   Music For Morning People
  60.   Connectivity: Page 129
  61.   Temple of Gloom
  62.   Drum-O-Scope
  63.   Slew Test 2
  64.   3 Bit Blues
  65.   Birthday: Page 71
  66.   Elevator Hopper
  67.   More Dance Music
  68.   10 Bit Blues
  69.   Michel au Pays des Merveilles
  70.   Annie's Palour
  71.   Roboshuffle
  72.   Static's Waltz
  73.   Emperor's Main Course
  74.   Static's Waltz
  75.   Exciting Excerpts
  76.   Tremors, Knife in Back, Birdhead
  77.   Spanky Panky
  78.   More Dance Music
  79.   Bonus Cricket
  80.   Eternity Is Past by DJ Dave
  81.   Starthear
  82.   Thank You, Good Night, Drive Safe
  83.   Tubanjo
  84.   The Prank Call
  85.   Dinner With Yoda
  86.   Static Waltz
  87.   Tricks N' Treats