Music » CD Reviews

Kid Koala

Some of My Best Friends Are DJs (Ninja Tune)

by

comment
Montreal-based Kid Koala is a world-class DJ, a member of the jazz-jam-fusion band Bullfrog, and the author of a darkly cryptic graphic novel, Nufonia Must Fall, a story of the illicit love between a woman and a robot that includes a downtempo soundtrack for piano and turntables. Some of My Best Friends Are DJs continues the Nufonia saga, as the characters dominate the album's artwork, a few songs, and an assembly-required portable chess set.

Friends is Koala's second full-length album, but fans of 2000's Carpal Tunnel Syndrome are in for a surprise. This album is less cluttered and more musical, and it's not just turntable dexterity and symphonies of samples and sound effects. The tunes cover ragtime, blues, jazz, and more. "Vacation Island" features an island melody played on ukulele and steel guitar, to which Koala patiently adds the lush tones of each individual instrument in a string quartet. A piano version of Earth, Wind & Fire's "Spinning Wheel" plays prominently in "Elevator Hopper," but by far the most impressive track is the opener, "Basin Street Blues," a deconstruction and reinterpreted version of Spencer Davis's Dixieland 1928 funeral march. At less than 35 minutes, this album is short by most standards, but Koala's ingenuity makes the brevity forgivable.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club


Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.


Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.


Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.