I had heard of Kid Koala before (the Chinese-Canadian DJ whose boys include Del tha Funkee Homosapien, Dan the Automator, Radiohead, and his band mates in Bullfrog). However, I could not remember listening to just him. Before Friday’s show at Power Studios, I decided to pick up his only full-length solo album, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, on the much-lauded label Ninja Tune Records. Its use of chicken samples and thoroughly warped turntable skills were enough to convince me to spend another 12 greenbacks to see Koala live.
His entire performance was a mission focused on “getting silly.” Koala was all smiles as he scratched away at tracks by Souls of Mischief, Radiohead, Cypress Hill, and the Beastie Boys, as the audience danced away however they could. During the show, various people entered the back stage area with little trouble – their heads nodding softly in the clouds. For once, it seemed like everyone was relaxed and unified – there was no security meathead hassle. Photographers and journalists munched on Koala’s complementary supply of carrots and fruits in peace, listening to him chop up beats like a friendly comic book superhero. For more info visit www.kidkoala.com.
This is a Life & Art interview with Kid Koala.
Q: What are you dressing up as for Halloween?
KOA: Probably a bag of chips or something – I’m DJing so I need to find something I can DJ in. I was trying on all these masks but I could not see anything. So, you know: A bag of chips.
Q: Would you ever do a soundtrack for some Koala porn videos?
KOA: Funny you should say that, I’m actually doing a soundtrack for graphic novel, not porno “graphic.” It’s like a romantic tragedy that’s coming out next year.
[Kid Koala scurries off to find a few of his drawings from a book that he drew and is doing the soundtrack for: it is 350 pages, 80 words]
KOA: It is like a paperback silent film.
Q: Speaking of soundtracks, what about Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? (The album is accompanied by a 30-page comic book illustrated by Kid Koala)
KOA: Well, I wanted to express the same attention span in the comic book as in the music. This new book is more developed; it’s like a feature length movie. With the soundtrack, it’s not so much beats, but something that helps you flip through the pages, piano (from which I’d taken a really long hiatus) plus turntables.
Q: Why weren’t you in the Crocodile Hunter movie?
KOA: I think he’s more into the super-poisonous darth frogs.
Q: You are not “super-poisonous” or “darth?”
KOA: No, but I did get some letters saying that a lot of koalas were real active and have syphilis.
Q: Do you get any letters from the “Furries” (a growing population of people who like to dress up in animal costumes for sex)?
KOA: I’d never heard of that phenomenon until I came to Miami.
Q: Me neither. Would you DJ a furry orgy?
KOA: My music isn’t the sexiest. People look like little spazzes when they dance to it. To get in the mood I’d stick with Barry White or Marvin Gaye.
Q: When your nose is wet, does that mean you are sick?
KOA: I have no idea what you’re talking about.
Sven Barth can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.