Sorry for the recent leave of absence from the SKOA scene. I've been working on some personal as well as other SKOA projects for this year. For those who enjoyed the Beats For Daze series, no worries! It will be back real soon. But speaking of beats for days, one of my favorite producers Dan The Automator (producer of Gorillaz S/T album, Deltron 3030 and Handsome Boy Modelling School) is back with his latest project Pillowfight featuing singer songwriter Emily Wells and frequent collaborator DJ Kid Koala.
A couple of months back, we debuted the first cut from the group titled "In The Afternoon" but now thanks to the folks of at the Huffington Post, you can hear the groups debut LP in full a week ahead of its release. Check it out and make sure you pick it up next Tuesday when it release. Automator always makes some good tunage.
DJ Mastermind Kid Koala has been rather busy within the last year or so. He recently released a 132-page graphic novel drawn entirely on etchboard and a "still picture score" to accompany it, he hooked back up with Dan The Automator on a new group Pillowfight featuring singer/songwriter Emily Wells, who are set to release an album later this year. Then linked back up with Automator once again and Del The Funky Homosapien to put the finishing touchs on the long awaited Deltron sequel Deltron Event II dropping later this year. And even with all that on his plate Kid Koala is gearing up to release a new solo LP this September.
Thats right, Koala makes his triumphant return with his forthcoming album 12 bit Blues dropping Sept. 17 via Ninja Tune. Koala's new album was inspired by, you guessed it, the blues and how it was always about stripping music back to its bare essentials. So he took it back to the old school way of recording Hip Hop beats with Emu SP1200 sampler, no sequencing software and used the pads on the machine and a multitrack playing each part of the tracks in real time, before finally returning and adding cuts over the top. Fuck your Apple Garageband and Logic Pro.
You can peep the video above for the album cut "8 bit Blues (Chicago to LA to NY)" which was filmed in one shot, no edits and features just a map, magic drawing boards, a couple of etch-a-sketches and more! And if you still haven't had your Kid Koala fill, you can go download another cut from the album "5 bit Blues" over at Kid Koala's website. While you are there make sure you check out Koala's upcoming tour dates and pre-order the new album which will have a limited edition first run of the album that include a working 'cardboard, hand powered turntable kit'.
The project of Dan The Automator, Kid Koala and Del The Funky Homosapien better known as Deltron 3030 have been readying the release of a sophomore album since 2006. Their only release to date was back in the millennium some 12 years ago. Yesterday some news from the camp hit the net though via CBC MusicDan the Automator let loose the news the album is finished and will mostly likely be released in September: "The record’s done with one or two maybe small touch ups…What I’m about [is] not changing any songs more like little, in between segue things." So prepare for some new material that could melt our minds. CoS also points towards a video of some material they debuted in Toronto over the past weekend tentatively titled "I Have Seen".
Deltron Event II isn't the only big project from super producer Dan The Automator this year. Automator has hooked up with singer/songwriter Emily Wells for a new collaborative project called Pillowfight which also features long time Automator collaborator Kid Koala on turntables. According to Wells' website, the group came together when Kid Koala and Wells met at the Calgary Folk Fest. Koala, a friend of Dan's knew he'd been working on a "passion project" and was hoping to find a female lyricist/vocalist. Emily went to San Francisco to write and record for three days and the rest is history.
The two spent the next several months writing and recording and have finished their first full length album, which is set to release some time this year. Those that are familiar with Automator's projects such as the first Gorillaz album, Lovage and Handsome Boy Modeling School will feel right at home with Pillowfight. The group recently previewed the upcoming debut album at this year's SXSW festival, which you can probably find decent quality videos on YouTube.
For those of you, who do not wish to go digging through YouTube just to hear the act, fear not! You can hear the group's first single "In The Afternoon" below which is available to download on the Ioda's SXSW 2012 Sampler (FREE on Amazon/$1.99 on iTunes). Can't wait to hear more from this upcoming project, as well as Deltron Event II. Automator can we haz your project with Mike Patton, Crudo, too?
Finally, the time is here. Turntable mastermind Kid Koala is set to release his long awaited upcoming 132-page graphic novel Space Cadet on Ninja Tune this fall. The novel is drawn entirely on etchboards and will include a "still picture score" of music composed and recorded by Kid Koala.
Space Cadet tells the story of an adventurous space cadet and her guardian robot which touches on the relationship between technology and isolation, and celebrates the idea of connectivity through family and the cycles that build generations. The novel's score also brings the story to life, matching the stories mood with Koala’s own piano playing, strings, horns, marimba and and his trademark ability to manipulate the turntables.
You can check out clips, as well as preorder, the upcoming release at Ninja Tune's website here. Space Cadet's score is set to release digitally on July 20th with the full physical release of the novel and score releasing this Fall on September 19th. Also check out Kid Koala's recent Daytrotter session here.
A while back we posted some new material from turntable mastermind Kid Koala featuring his Gorillaz buddies Damon Albarn and Dan The Automator. Now, thanks to the awesome folks at Daytrotter we get to hear a new session from Koala featuring some 2 exclusive tracks "Moon River" (which actually appeared on Ninja Tune XX) and "A Dub Thing." Koala is currently on his unique Space Cadet Headphone tour, which consists of audience sitting in inflatable “space pods”, listening to the show through individual headphone systems as Kid Koala brings the Space Cadet score to life on a piano and several turntables. Koala also to set to release the Space Cadet 132-page graphic novel drawn entirely on etchboards and "still picture score" composed and recorded by Kid Koala this October. Peep out his Daytrotter set below and head over to Daytrotter.com to get your free download.
It's the return of the original Gorillaz/Deltron 3030! Well kinda. Kid Koala recently guest DJ'd on Tim Sweeney's weekly radio show Beats in Space and debuted an unreleased untitled demo which featured constant Koala collaborator Dan The Automator and Blur/Gorillaz frontman Damon Albarn.
For those that don't know, Koala and Dan The Automator created one of the greatest hip hop albums of all time along side Bay Area emcee Del The Funky Homosapien titled Deltron 3030. One of the tracks from that iconic release featured Blur frontman Damon Albarn titled "Time Keeps On Slipping." This track basically led to the creation of the Gorillaz self titled debut and the rest is history.
Kid Koala has also played this track during some of his live shows and thanks to our friends at OneThirtyBPM you can hear the studio version below and we've also included a live soundboard perfomance of the live version, which is slightly different and has clearer vocals from Damon. Check it out below!
Kid Koala, best known for his work with Dan The Automator on Deltron 3030 (one of the greatest albums ever), Gorillaz and with members of Wolfmother on The Slew, returns with a new track "3 Bit Blues" which appears on the Ninja Tune anniversary compilation Ninja Tune XX (which is now available). Check it out in the player below, it definitely has that Slew feel.