Saturday, September 12, 2009

Kid Koala presents The Slew

100 % (Self-Released/Ninja Tune, 09.09)

For: Led Zeppelin, Handsome Boy Modeling School, DJ Shadow

Byline: If Limp Bizkit, Kid Rock and Aerosmith couldn't bring together Rock and Roll with sample heavy hip hop, who could? Kid Koala rewrites the rules.

Remember when Public Enemy recorded those tracks with Anthrax? Or when Aerosmith preformed "Walk This Way" with Run-DMC? No? Well, me neither. All these were a little before my time. However, thanks to VH1 these moments are part of my musical history. Ok, how about Fred Durst and Method Man...Ahhh, now I'm in my demographic. The fact is the cross-pollination of musical ideas between Hip-Hop and Rock and Roll has never really been a new thing. But it has always seemed a bit schlocky, too insincere to have any lasting effect. Remember Rap-Rock? Where is Crazy Town today? So now, Kid Koala, renowned turntabilist and mastermind behind such projects as Deltron 3030, Lovage, as well as contributing to supergroups Gorrilaz and Peeping Tom as well as Brazilian electronic music legend Amon Tobin, wants to add his name to the list. And actually, The Slew (which sounds like a high school punk band) actually has the chops to pull it off. Kid Koala is all over the place pushing some of the wildest manipulated beats and left-field old blues sampled vocals as a general soundscape. The recruited rhythm section and guitarist are EX-Wolfmother members. The guitar lines are absolutely wicked, layering thick power chords that are subject to Kid Koala's viscous manipulation. The end product heavy, blues inspired rock album that is cut up in a million various ways. By being laid bare to such manipulation the different aspects of rock and roll are augmented and amplified. For instance Kid Koala weaves entire songs around a single chord and blast beat from the drums while his samples and turntables go crazy. Huge, boisterous, anthems that wouldn't sound out of place before a High-School football game or the intro to some gritty cop show on TV. So long after the fact and after so many failed experiments it seems as though Rock and Roll and electronic sampling are not mutually exclusive entities (as we all kind of hoped they were). The best thing about 100 % is that it is 100 % free!!

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