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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
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Stations Featuring
Kid Koala

Albums by
Kid Koala

Top Songs by
Kid Koala

  1.   Song
  2.   Basin Street Blues
  3.   Grandmaphone Speaks
  4.   2 Bit Blues
  5.   3 Bit Blues
  6.   Return: Page 125
  7.   A Night at the Nufonia
  8.   Void: Page 86
  9.   Strut Hear
  10.   8 Bit Blues (Chicago to LA to NY)
  11.   1 Bit Blues (10,000 Miles)
  12.   Denouement
  13.   9 Bit Blues
  14.   7 Bit Blues
  15.   The DJ Factory Turn Crazy
  16.   No, Fantasy Island!
  17.   L 'Ile aux Trésors?
  18.   Godzilla a les Blues
  19.   Like Irregular Chickens
  20.   Nerdball
  21.   Skanky Panky
  22.   Drunk Trumpet
  23.   Hope: Page 115
  24.   Goodbye: Page 8
  25.   Stompin' At Le Savoy
  26.   Strat Hear
  27.   Third World Lover by Dynomite D.
  28.   Emperor's Main Course in Cantonese
  29.   Barhopper 1
  30.   Drum-O-Scope
  31.   On the Set of Fender Bender
  32.   Connectivity: Page 129
  33.   More Dance Music
  34.   Birthday: Page 71
  35.   Fender Bender
  36.   Left Side: Start Heeeeears Koala/Stoppin' Traffic/Tracks Etc./Slewtest
  37.   Music For Morning People
  38.   Michel au Pays des Merveilles
  39.   Barhopper 2
  40.   Page 275
  41.   Pluto Attack (La Revanche des Exclus)
  42.   Roboshuffle
  43.   4 Bit Blues
  44.   Robochacha
  45.   Radio Nufonia
  46.   Today Tomorrow: Page 37
  47.   10 Bit Blues
  48.   Annie's Palour
  49.   Recyclotron: Page 110
  50.   Window: Page 25
  51.   5 Bit Blues
  52.   Elevator Hopper
  53.   Speed Of Light: Page 102
  54.   Cardboard Stars, Seashells: Page 100
  55.   Expedition: Page 45
  56.   Flu Season
  57.   Space Cadet 2
  58.   Temple of Gloom
  59.   Negatron Speaks
  60.   11 Bit Blues
  61.   Dawn: Page 97
  62.   Main Title Theme: Open Your Book
  63.   Remembrance: Page 10
  64.   Roll Credits
  65.   6 Bit Blues
  66.   Right Side: Slew Test 2/Gimme a K!/Mosquito vs. Waterbuffalo/Slew Test
  67.   Naptime
  68.   Vacation Island
  69.   Scurvy
  70.   Page 278
  71.   Slew Test 2
  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
  88.   Made from Bjork
  89.   Made from Scratch
  90.   Capone's Theme Park
  91.   Fashion Lesson
  92.   Medieval Retrowax
  93.   Jhaptal
  94.   Taboo Soda
  95.   Almost Easy Listening
  96.   The Mushroom Factory
  97.   Emperors Crash Course in Cantones
  98.   Bar Hopper 3
  99.   Bugs and Beats
  100.   Space Cadet
  101.   Scratchappyland
  102.   Barhopper Z