[Dixielandjazz] speaking of Turntable Scratchers and OKOM jazz

david richoux tubaman at batnet.com
Tue Apr 6 19:47:16 PDT 2004

Hi all,

I was talking with another KFJC DJ this afternoon about the recent 
thread on this list - Rap and Turn Table experts - he mentioned the 
work of a Canadian mix-master named "Kid Koala" that includes a lot of 
early jazz in his productions. I did a quick web search and turned up 
this little story:
http://remixmag.com/ar/remix_bebop_beat_juggler/  (see below for a snip 
- I really suggest that you will find something of  interest in the 
entire article!)

He is also just now releasing a new CD with some other Dixieland 
influences and has said he wants to record with a live Dixieland band!

Dave Richoux

> Philadelphia's Mann Center for the Performing Arts is an open-air 
> theater that is more accustomed to performances by Weird Al Yankovic 
> and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir than the alien beats and advanced 
> technology of electronic music. Kid Koala (aka Eric San) is on Mann's 
> stage, working three turntables and a mixer as the opening act for 
> alt-folkie Ben Harper. As stoned youth enter the venue, Koala serves 
> up background music for their enjoyment and occasional derision.
> “Welcome to the Canadian portion of your show,” Koala announces. “If 
> you don't like what you hear, talk amongst yourselves.” Koala mixes a 
> set of The Pharcyde, A Tribe Called Quest, Björk, Autechre and Boards 
> of Canada. Some of the cranky and less-informed youth start to boo. 
> Koala wants to have fun while entertaining the Neanderthal mass, so he 
> rips out a surreal freak-beat fiesta: his tribute to Louis Armstrong, 
> “Drunk Trumpet” (from Koala's Carpal Tunnel Syndrome [Ninja Tune, 
> 2000]), and Henry Mancini's Breakfast at Tiffany's theme, “Moon 
> River.”
> “Drunk Trumpet,” one of Koala's inspired takes on traditional jazz, 
> climaxes in a scratched trumpet solo that Armstrong could have never 
> imagined. Koala furiously rubs the vinyl, making the trumpet stab, 
> wail, spit, trill and slide, all the while smiling like a mischievous 
> tyke farting in church. The audience finally gets it, to which Koala 
> replies, “Thanks for your jaded applause.”
> “Moon River” is even more stunning and sonically daring. As Audrey 
> Hepburn sings over the song's acoustic guitar strums, Koala 
> beat-juggles two copies of the record into a slow-motion dirge and 
> then rearranges every syllable of the vocal until Hepburn is 
> stuttering like a Tourette's syndrome victim. Koala then mixes in a 
> third record over the free-spinning first platter, adding screaming 
> seagulls, looped orchestral strings, an ecstatic Moog solo, rocketing 
> explosions and a final scratch of Hepburn reciting “end, end, end, 
> end, end.” It's “Moon River” as an apocalyptic nightmare and angelic 
> vision.
> Koala closes the set with The Muppet Show's song “Mahna Mahna/Lullaby 
> of Birdland.” An excited female fan jumps onstage and gives Koala a 
> bear hug, embarrassing the DJ, who quickly retreats behind his 
> equipment.
> Kid Koala is one of today's most inventive, original and humorous DJs, 
> and high-profile groups and producers such as Radiohead and Dan the 
> Automator have taken notice. Working the turntablist ethic into his 
> smashed jazz 'n' beats cutups, Koala pushes the boundaries of DJ 
> culture as few can. His 1997 underground tape, Scratch Scratch 
> Scratch, sounded like Public Enemy remixing Walt Disney with literal 
> samples of Charlie Brown and Björk. Koala's Ninja Tune debut, Carpal 
> Tunnel Syndrome, followed after several singles and remixes. He toured 
> with Coldcut, Beastie Boys and Radiohead. He then got busy with 
> Deltron 3030 (as Skiznod the Boy Wonder); Lovage; and his longtime 
> band, Bullfrog. An accomplished cartoonist, Koala released his 
> early-2003 book, Nufonia Must Fall (ECW Press), a dialogue-free comic 
> story accompanied by a downtempo soundtrack. To support the release, 
> he toured, playing shows with two pianos (Koala studied classical 
> piano for 10 years before vinyl and comics ate into his brain), four 
> turntables and the help of his friend DJ P-Love.
> Kid Koala operates in a space that is rare for any musician. Although 
> it draws on hip-hop, trip-hop and turntablism, Koala's music is 
> practically without parallel. His turntable-based style is only really 
> challenged by DJ Shadow, who follows a similar loner's path to 
> fanatical vinyl ecstasy. With a gentle science of spoken-word humor 
> (“Shake loose; don't be silly; you can dance” is one obscure sample 
> that he often cuts in), scratched solos and lazy beats created on a 
> simple analog setup, Kid Koala upends the turntablist's machismo with 
> songs that are as ingenious as they are hilarious.
> Sitting down with Remix, Koala is shocked to hear that he's on the 
> cover: “Oh, geez,” he says with a sigh, fidgeting. “Great! The 
> Neptunes deserve to be on the cover — now, I am nervous. [Laughs.] By 
> the way, did I mention I worked with Madonna?”

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