Kid Koala

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Kid Koala

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” which was 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.

Kid Koala most recent release on Ninja Tune was “Your Mom’s Favorite DJ” in 2006. On this record he 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 where 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 rhyhtm section joined Kid Koala in the studio to lay down some new songs. Currently Dynomite D is working on the songs at his studio.

In late 2010, Kid Koala finished his latest graphic novel and soundtrack titled “Space Cadet”. To work out the accompanying live show and gallery exhibition, he took part in an artist residence at MASS MoCA (Massachussetts Museum Of Contemporary Art). The Space Cadet Headphone Concert and Gallery successfully debuted there in December 2010 with 2 shows. The novel and soundtrack are set to be released during 2011 through Uni Books and a world tour will commence July 2011 in Montreal at the Biosphere Museum.

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