Kool Koala weekend

SPACE hosts the weird worlds of hip-hop
By IAN PAIGE  |  April 18, 2007
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PUZZLED: Kid Koala.

On Kid Koala’s new album, Your Mom’s Favorite DJ, we hear a sample of the Kid’s mom speaking to her favorite son.

“I didn’t spend all that money on turntables for nothing. I believe in you. You gotta believe in yourself.”

She doesn’t need to be worried. The Montreal DJ also known as Eric San has managed to create an entire universe of skilled turntablism, playful stories, and imaginative drawings that takes him to New York, Paris, and the nether reaches of the Yukon.

His new album of two massive tracks, “Left Side” and “Right Side,” forces you to pay attention to what’s really important on his records, the transitions. He effortlessly glides through classic breaks, heavy ’80s guitars, dime-store novelty samples, and his trademark scratching that takes the turntable to new heights of instrumentation. Unlike many skilled DJs, however, Kid Koala doesn’t spend all his time showing you what tricks he can do (even though he can do it all) but draws you into the whole mood of the room while leading you through an imaginary forest of stories and samples.

Last time Kid Koala came to SPACE Gallery, the audience was treated to an army of DJs, accompanying something like a child’s PowerPoint presentation with the Kid talking you through a slide show, walking around the stage like he was giving a stock report of the soul. It was quite possibly the best show I’ve seen in Portland and I would guess from the sea of smiling faces in the packed concert, most everyone agreed.

Starting the weekend is Kool Keith is Dr. Dooom is Dr. Octagon is Tashan Dorrsett is Black Elvis . . . the list goes on. The Ultramagnetic MC uses his extra personalities to crank out records, releasing six albums last year, including the double release of genuine-article Kool Keith’s The Commi$$ioner albums 1 and 2.

Sure, the guy has spent a little time in Bellevue Hospital and maybe some potential listeners out there might be a little flustered by his outspoken pornography addiction. There’s something shock-jock about Keith Thornton that moves beyond genres, which is probably why he’s comfortable crossing over to work with the likes of Mike Patton (Faith No More, Fantomas) on the Peeping Tom record. The smut obsession is just one part of the puzzle because what’s really going on is Keith has a lot on his many minds and has zero mental filters so he can talk about humans acting like ants and that’s more than okay. He’s kind of right.

You’ve got to see this show because Kool Keith is going to throw fried chicken at you. You’ve got to go because Kool Keith writes and records on all levels, keeping a sense of humor or delving into Tourette Syndrome depths that respond to the most bullshit aspects of our society. Kool Keith can tell you all about the aliens in your hometown. Kool Keith can rap about the dangers of global warming and warn you there’s a turtle in your uterus. You should ask him about it.

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