by Ben Hogwood
What’s the story?
Kid Koala is truly a one-off. Not content with making inventive hip hop beats infused with scratching, quirky if well chosen samples and catchy hooks, he matches his music with distinctive visual art.
Such is the case with Music For The Late Afternoon, whose LP is accompanied by a board game. Typically for Koala – real name Eric San – the album tells a selection of stories that move quickly between musical sources.
As with a number of established beat makers, he is amassing a considerable body of work, this being his ninth album.
What’s the music like?
Both psychedelic and charming! There is no limit to the imagination here, with a veritable kitchen sink of riffs, beats and speech samples, but it all comes together just like the colourful animations Kid Koala does so well.
Some of the songs here are crowd scenes, children’s voices calling out mottos on the likes of Things Are Gonna Change, supported by walls of guitar and white noise. 1,000 Towns is a slightly macabre waltz, weird but winsome.
The blasts of musical adrenalin are complemented by slower, thoughtful asides where there is touching vulnerability, or charming and often amusing dialogue, in this case a couple of scenes in a robot hotel.
There is more variety here than on previous records, but plenty of scratching prowess throughout, Koala’s turntable work so subtle that you’ll oftem miss it.
Does it all work?
Yes. As ever there is a lot of fun to be had here, with a lot of musical twists and turns that might reflect a short attention span but keep the listener engaged.
Is it recommended?
Yes. An album that proves energising, touching and celebratory in equal parts. Closing track Til We Meet Again provides the ideal final sentiment, as hopefully Kid Koala will continue in this rich vein of form.
Listen and Buy