CMU Playlists

Playlist: Kid Koala

By | Published on Friday 26 August 2011

Kid Koala

Canadian turntalbist Eric San has achieved a lot in his Kid Koala guise since the turn of the century. His two albums, ‘Carpal Tunnel Syndrome’ and ‘Some Of My Best Friends Are DJs’, gained fast critical acclaim for his unique style, far removed from most other turntablists. He uses samples ranging from old jazz records to sneezing, blended with comedy sketches and new melodies created by speeding up and slowing down a single sound, or quickly moving the needle between different points on a record. His live shows, as you might imagine, are pretty special, too.

As well as his solo work, he’s also collaborated with the likes of Gorillaz, Handsome Boy Modeling School, Mike Patton’s Peeping Tom, and he formed turntable ‘rock band’ The Slew with fellow scratcher Dynomite D, a set up later joined by former Wolfmother rhythm section Chris Ross and Myles Heskett for live shows.

Also a talented illustrator, next month he publishes his second graphic novel through Ninja Tune, ‘Space Cadet’. Like his first, ‘Nufonia Must Fall’, the book comes with a soundtrack album (or “still picture score”, as it’s being called), in this case a full album of gentle piano-based music.

Summarising the book’s story, Kid Koala said: “He’s the guardian robot programmed to protect the sweetest astronaut on this (or any) planet. But when she blasts off on a solo mission of outer-space adventure, he is left to wonder… What now? A tomorrow-days lullaby about finding your place in the universe”.

The book and album are due for release on 19 Sep, and on 13 Sep he will host a special event dubbed ‘Music To Draw To’. Comprising a story-related Q&A, character introductions, and a live performance, the one-off event will take place at the Material/Red Gallery on London’s Rivington Street from 7pm. The only rule, according to the man himself, is “no dancing”.

Ahead of that, we asked Kid Koala to put together a Powers Of Ten playlist for us. Not only did he do it, but he put a new twist on it, too. We’ll let him explain: “I’ve done so many of these lists over the years but none with a theme… so here we go. These are some of my favourite songs. They also all happen to have the word ‘cry’ in their titles”.

Click here to listen to Kid Koala’s playlist in Spotify, and then read on to find out more about his selections.

01 Money Mark – Cry
When I toured with Mark for his ‘Push The Button’ tour, this was by far my favourite part of the set. I’ve seen entire audiences reduced to tears because of this tune. Just one man and his Hammond keyboard. He also told me he recorded this on an eight-track cassette multi-track recorder in his basement.

02 Percy Sledge – First You Cry
This song will literally make you cry. Make sure you’re not driving when you play this. Just pull over to the side of the road and wait it out.

03 Platinum Blonde – Cryin Over You
From a Canadian band in the 80s. This was a big hit for them! I remember it playing on the radio here all the time. In the bridge he sings “Cry-aiy-aiy-aiy-aiy-aiy-aiy-aiy”. That’s like seven aiys! Really, what more can you ask for? Any more than that would be just plain greedy.

04 Aerosmith – Cryin
The video sold me on this one. I’m not sure what it’s about but someone steals Alicia Silverstone’s backpack and takes off out of a diner. She proceeds to chase him down the street and roundhouse kicks him to the curb. All this just during the harmonica solo. No one makes songs or videos like this any more. Amazing.

05 Prince – When Doves Cry
Prince just played in Montreal and did a four hour set followed by six encores. All hits! Enough said. He also had the mighty Maceo Parker on sax. Because of these things, he will now make every music list anyone ever asks me to do.

06 Jay-Z – Song Cry
I don’t throw the term ‘dope’ around lightly. But this track is dope.

07 The Cure – Boys Don’t Cry
My older sister listened to tons of Cure records when I was growing up. I inherited all of these records when I started DJing. Some of my early battle routines used breaks from The Cure! Not this song though. The reason it’s on the list is because it has “cry” in the title. There was a film made several years later with the same title.

08 Al Green – Keep Me Crying
This is one of the few songs about crying that you can REALLY dance to.

09 Neil Young – Cry, Cry, Cry
This is one of those warm fuzzy feeling songs with “cry” in the lyrics. This song has the most counts of the word “cry” of any song on this whole list. Neil Young rules. And he’s Canadian, too!

10 Franki Valli And The Four Seasons – Big Girls Don’t Cry
This song contains the best falsetto “Cry-aiy-aiy” ever recorded. Someone should do a ska version of this doo wop classic. My mom listened to a lot of these vocal bands as a teen. She always made us listen to stuff like this on road trips.