Kid Koala

In a genre that takes pride in near-mechanical precision, Kid Koala‘s playful antics have polarized listeners. No one doubts the turntablist’s skills — Koala scratches vinyl into oblivion and stacks an amazing number of samples into dense compositions. But when the Kid added how-to-manual excerpts and video-game effects to his tracks, some fans of the form deemed his tunes childish. The fact that erratic rhythms and abstract melodies render much of his material less than danceable added fuel to the debate about Koala’s validity as a top-notch talent. Then people started seeing his live show, and the skeptics were silenced. Unlike many of his peers, who sacrifice stage presence to keep the party flowing, Koala exudes actual star power. His sets, juiced with mesmerizing minigrooves and amusing dialogue snippets, inspire crowds to stand and watch instead of concentrating on their own choreography.

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