Today, visionary scratch DJ and producer Kid Koala (aka Eric San) shares “Allotropic” via Self-Titled Magazine, an instrumental track off his upcoming album Music To Draw To: Io. The new album, the second volume in the Music To Draw To series, is a collection of transportive electronic and ambient creations featuring the captivating vocals of singer Trixie Whitley on six of its eighteen tracks. “Allotropic” reflects Kid Koala’s mastery of atmosphere, using a wide array of unique instrumentation to conjure a magical veneer of winter music for the cosmos. Music To Draw To: Io is out January 25, 2019 via Arts & Crafts on double vinyl, deluxe sketchbook CD, and digital formats – pre-order now.
Kid Koala details his creative process at the National Music Centre (NMC) in Calgary, where “Allotropic” and much of the record took shape: “If you’re a little obsessive about sound like I am, visiting the NMC is like being a kid in a gigantic audio candy store. They have some of the rarest keyboard instruments in the world (even dating back to the 1600s). I had already begun work on the instrumentals for this instalment of the Music To Draw To series, so I decided to spend most of my time in their Live Room B “sound lab,” an entire floor of the building that houses an incredible collection of electronic instruments, effects and synthesizers. Many of the machines are one of a kind prototypes that never went into production. They also have working examples of all of the classic synthesizers from every era, fully operational and calibrated to factory spec. It was a really incredible place to work and I tracked a lot of the Io album there including layers for “Allotropic.” Once I had the soundscape recorded I later found this junky old guitar at a flea market and played it on there too. It was a bit of an odd combo but seemed to fit somehow. I was thinking to myself what it would sound like if you were standing on an icy beach in outer space.”
“Allotropic” follows the release of first single “All For You” featuring Trixie Whitley, debuted via BrooklynVegan and visuals premiered via Billboard Magazine earlier this month. Both tracks capture the essence of the Music To Draw To ambient/vocal collaboration series, inspired by music that allows space for the listener’s own ideas, initially manifest as the community art events Kid Koala began in Montreal ten years ago.
The 70 minute album is a constellation of electronic meditations that glint with Whitley’s otherworldly blues. Kid Koala’s heartrending lyrics channel the turbulence of the modern global psyche through the lens of Io in Greek mythology, unfolding a melancholy universe of space travel and love stories transcendently personified by Whitley. The first volume of the series was 2017’s Music To Draw To: Satellite, which featured vocalist Emilíana Torríni, and received praise from Pitchfork, Bandcamp, VICE, and more.
To celebrate the launch of the album, Kid Koala will be hosting ‘Music to Draw to’ sessions, beginning with four launch events Montreal’s SATosphere dome, featuring Whitley and visuals by chemical puppeteer Karina Bleau. San is also touring his Satellite Turntable Orchestra and Nufonia Must Fall performance concepts globally this year. See below for a full list of tour dates, and tickets are available here.
Earlier this year, Kid Koala released the Floor Kids Original Video Game Soundtrack, a 42-track collection featuring 71 minutes of original hip-hop and breaks music from the award-winning video game (on PS4, XBOX, NINTENDO SWITCH, STEAM), adding another dimension to the universe of multimedia projects San has built over his twenty year career.
Kid Koala Upcoming Tour Dates
1/24: Montreal, QC @ SAT (6:30pm / 9pm) w/ Trixie Whitley
1/25: Montreal, QC @ SAT (6:30pm / 9pm) w/ Trixie Whitley
1/30: Ottawa, ON @ Black Squirrel Books
2/6: San Francisco, CA @ SF Jazz (Listening Party)
2/7: San Francisco, CA @ SF Jazz (Nufonia Must Fall)
2/8: San Francisco, CA @ SF Jazz (Nufonia Must Fall)
2/9: San Francisco, CA @ SF Jazz (Nufonia Must Fall)
2/10: San Francisco, CA @ SF Jazz (Nufonia Must Fall) (3pm // 7pm)
2/13: San Jose CA @ Hammer Theatre (Nufonia Must Fall)
2/14: San Jose CA @ Hammer Theatre (Nufonia Must Fall)
2/18: St. Catherines, ON @ FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre (Satellite Turntable Orchestra – 7pm / 9:30pm)
2/19: St. Catherines, ON @ FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre (Satellite Turntable Orchestra – 7pm / 9:30pm)
2/20: St. Catherines, ON @ FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre (Satellite Turntable Orchestra – 2pm / 7pm / 9:30pm)
4/26: College Park, MD @ MilkBoy ArtHouse (Satellite Turntable Orchestra)
4/27: College Park, MD @ The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center (Robot Dance Party)
5/2: Chapel Hill, MD @ Current ArtSpace + Studio (UNC @ Chapel Hill)
5/3: Chapel Hill, MD @ Current ArtSpace + Studio (UNC @ Chapel Hill)
5/4: Chapel Hill, MD @ Current ArtSpace + Studio (UNC @ Chapel Hill)
5/5: Chapel Hill, MD @ Current ArtSpace + Studio (UNC @ Chapel Hill)
Photo credit: Raymond Flotat