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Kid Koala Biography


Home > Music > K > Kid Koala > Biography


Birth Name: Eric San
Born: 1974
Birth Place: Vancouver, Montreal
Genres: Turntablism


Kid Koala (born Eric San, 1974) is a Canadian DJ, turntablist, musician and an author of graphic novels. He is signed to the British record label Ninja Tune, is a member of alternative hip hop supergroup Deltron 3030 and The Slew. He has also made appearances with many other artists from Amon Tobin to the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and has made contributions to Lovage, Peeping Tom, Gorillaz and numerous other projects.

Kid Koala is well known for his enigmatic style of turntablism, which uses an unusual collection of samples. He has been known to use samples of music from Charlie Brown television specials, old comedy sketch routines (including those that mock turntablism), people sneezing, and people reading a menu in Cantonese.

He has popularized a method of playing the turntable like a melodic instrument, where a long, single note is dragged under the needle at different speeds, creating different pitches. Since this method of adjusting pitch is imprecise, the resulting notes waver and bend. Thus, in the song “Drunk Trumpet,” he uses this method with a trumpet note to simulate a drunken trumpet player, interspersing drunken vocals to complete the effect. When playing live, Kid Koala often uses one of a kind records cut with custom sounds from which he creates his own songs.

While attending McGill University, in Montreal, Quebec he would distribute copies of his demo tape “Scratchcratchratchatch” to students attending the school. His proper debut album, “Carpal Tunnel Syndrome,” was released in 2000. Kid Koala is also an illustrator and an artist, having designed all of his own album covers. A comic book he drew was included as the liner notes to “Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.” Following the release of the album, Kid Koala toured extensively, during which time he opened for some of his favorite artists, including Radiohead and Björk.

Also in 2000, he formed hip hop supergroup Deltron 3030 with producer Dan the Automator and rapper Del the Funky Homosapien (portraying the fictional character Deltron Osiris/Deltron Zero). The group's debut album “Deltron 3030,” released in May 2000, was a concept album set in the year 3030 that told of the fight by Deltron Zero (Del's alter ego) against huge corporations that rule the universe. The lyrics were written in less than two weeks and were characterized by extravagant allusions to futuristic outer-space themes in the tradition of Afrofuturist works by Sun Ra and George Clinton. Many samples originated with the contemporary French classical composer William Sheller.

In 2003 he released a full length graphic novel, “Nufonia Must Fall,” which includes a soundtrack album he composed. His next album, “Some of my Best Friends are DJs” was also released in 2003 and included a chess set as part of the packaging.

He joined Dynomite D, and Australian rock musicians Chris Ross and Myles Heskett, formerly of the band Wolfmother in 2005 to form The Slew. The group first came together for the soundtrack to a documentary film by filmmaker Jay Rowlands. While the film eventually fell through, the group continued to collaborate on music, and released an album, “100%,” in 2009.

Kid Koala’s album, “Your Mom's Favorite DJ,” was issued in 2006. Released in 2012, his solo studio album “12 bit Blues” was longlisted for the 2013 Polaris Music Prize.

A second Deltron 3030 album, “Event 2,” was released in 2013. Guests appearing on the record included Damon Albarn, The Lonely Island, Zach De La Rocha, Mike Patton, David Cross, Amber Tamblyn, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Black Rob, Emily Wells, Jamie Cullum and David Chang.