In 1974, Kid Koala a.k.a Eric San was born in Vancouver, Canada. By the time he was twelve years old, and after many years of classical piano lessons, the young Eric discovered an increasingly popular sound that he would eventually make all his own. After making his first "scratch" on his sister's record player, he began saving his money from paper routes to buy his first turntable set-up.
By the early 1990's, Eric was living in Montreal where he had moved to study early childhood education at
McGill University. While DJing in clubs, he began to attract the public's attention. In 1995, when Jon More (co-owner of UK record label Ninja Tune, and half of Coldcut) came to visit Montreal, Eric's innovative and humourous mix tape "Scratchcratchratchatch" ended up playing on the car stereo. Shortly thereafter, Eric, now Kid Koala, became Ninja Tune's first North American signing.
Following the signing, Kid Koala released a string of remixes and began touring North America with Ninja Tune artists such as Coldcut, DJ Food and DJ Vadim. But it was not long before his skill, innovation, and performance style led him to attract attention from those outside the club community. In 1998, he received an invitation to join Money Mark's band, and then went on the road to open for the Beastie Boys on their "Hello Nasty" world tour.
In February of 2000, Ninja Tune released Kid Koala's debut album "Carpal Tunnel Syndrome". The album received great praise and was featured in the international press for having defied expectation. The album was accompanied by both a video game and 32-page comic illustrated by Kid Koala himself. A tour featuring 6 turntables and live musicians soon followed and took the young artist throughout North America and Europe.
After the release of his first album on Ninja Tune, Kid Koala continued to tour extensively as a member of groups such as Deltron 3030, Lovage, Bullfrog and also as the opening act for international recording artists Radiohead.
But while he was on the road, new projects were brewing. Kid Koala continued to keep himself busy on his downtime with the help of pencil and paper. Many sketch books later, his first book Nufonia Must Fall was published in March of 2003 by ECW Press. This 350-page illustrated love story about an out-of-work robot and a workaholic girl was accompanied by a 'soundtrack' of short record of original, experimental piano-based compositions. The original music and his characters set the stage for a North American tour of intimate, sit-down venues, during which Kid Koala lay his fingers down not only on the turntables, but on the Wurlitzer- and on the remote control of an old slide projector.
Kid Koala's second full-length album on Ninja Tune "Some of My Best Friends are DJs" will be released in October 2003. It is an album (with a 50-page book) that clearly shows the evolution of a young artist, expanding on musical themes from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome as well as introducing entirely new musical concepts, and keeping in the aesthetic of Nufonia Must Fall. This album will be supported by tours in North America, Europe and Japan, and will incorporate music, animation and comedy into one complete cabaret performance.
Kid Koala - Basin Street Blues Review