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splendid > reviews > 10/16/2003
Kid Koala
Kid Koala
Some of My Best Friends are DJs
Ninja Tune


Format Reviewed: CD

Soundclip: "Radio Nufonia"

Buy me now
Three years ago, you couldn't turn around without tripping over Kid Koala. Word of mouth spread like wildfire about this Montreal-born turntable wizard, propelling him to the forefront of a then-largely-unknown genre. Before long, he was the DJ it was okay for indie rock kids to like -- after all, he toured with Radiohead at Thom Yorke's behest, and is the driving force behind rubber band funk gibbons Bullfrog. Though his widely acclaimed debut Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is something of an iconoclastic recording as far as turntablism is concerned, in the three years since its release, artists like the X-Ecutioners and Cut Chemist have shattered the once widely-held notion of turntable-derived composition as mere kitsch, which leaves Koala and his bouncy vinyl dice game looking a bit featureless. San's scratch 'n' mix formula is still significant in its own right, but its effects are far less ingratiating; you'll never find yourself swept-up in Some of My Best Friends are DJs' aural-obsessive ADD-addled fantasies the way you might with labelmates Jaga Jazzist or cut-and-paste maestros Peanut Butter Wolf and DJ /Rupture. Koala's dedicated throng will still flock eagerly to scratchy-clappy songs like "More Dance Music" and "Skanky Panky", but anyone searching for a wholly absorbing listening experience should look (and listen) elsewhere.


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