IT SAYS something that classic turntablist album Carpal Tunnel Syndrome comes with a free comic book and computer game.
Now that’s value for money – clearly Kid Koala, real name Eric San, is a DJ bulging with ideas.
And never content to just drop a beat and sit back, from start to finish this album is a lesson in DJ-ing technically as well as creatively.
And clearly the leg work has been done beforehand as well – there’s no Eric B or James Brown sampling here, in fact nothing obvious at all.
From the ‘wakey wakey, eggs and bakey’ of Music For Morning People through the meandering Drunk Trumpet to the clucking bizarre Like Irregular Chickens, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is some of the most original, skilled and entertaining music to come out of two turntables.
BAY Blue’s eponymous LP shows an artist diving deep into his musical heritage.
The hip-hop sampler, real name Matt Chang, has forged an album from smokin’ jazz quartet cuts, grizzled bluesmen, cool swing band rhythms and brassy New Orleans combos – resulting in a collection with a vintage, sepia-tinged feel.
The closest modern references that come to mind are the likes of The Avalanches and Kid Koala, but their scattergun approach doesn’t quite compare to the reverential feel of these tracks.
Because Bay Blue isn’t plundering the past here, he’s paying his respects to it and bringing it up to date at the same time, with a sort of B-boy bebop sound that’s all his own.
IN SOME respects you never know what to expect from off-the-wall DJ Kid Koala – oddball samples, unexpected projects, free videogames, etc.
However you can expect, as I suspected when I fingered 12 Bit Blues as a potential album of the year a few months ago, excellence – and Koala, real name Eric San, has once again delivered.
Using a newly-acquired E-mu SP-1200 sampler – an ‘old skool’ piece of hip hop production equipment San had wanted since he was a youngster – Kid Koala has cut up and reordered the sounds that came out of grizzled old bluesmen.
Koala clearly enjoyed the exercise, adding a turntablist dimension to the riffs and moans of bluesmen, and the results are upbeat and joyful, the happiest blues music you’re likely to have heard in a long time.
CONTINUING the list-based fun of recent days, here’s five potential Albums of the Year that Sound Advice is on tenterhooks to hear.
Every one of these is surely going to be a humdinger. Any LPs that you’re waiting impatiently for, let me know in the comments.
Baroness – Green and Yellow
Four Tet – Pink
Jon Spencer Blues Explosion – Meat And Bone
Kid Koala – 12 Bit Blues
The Heavy – The Glorious Dead