Kid Koala

Your Mom's Favorite DJ

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Long heralded as one of the more accessible turntablists, thanks to the pop culture references and humor he adds to his sets, Kid Koala continues to maintain this title and also to show off his skills behind the decks with Your Mom's Favorite DJ, his third full-length. The record's styled more like a mixtape, like the 1996 one that first brought his name to attention, Scratchchratchratchatch (and like that mixtape, according to the liner notes it was made with simply "record players and a reel-to-reel multi-track"), with a "Left Side" and "Right Side." The disc works as a set of vaguely autobiographical stories that trace not only the Kid's path into DJing but also the development of popular music, moving from gramophones to radio DJs to turntables (the latter includes a brief explanation of three different types of scratches: the laser, the scribble, and the chirp). Koala uses mostly bits and pieces of jazz and blues records to write his soundtrack, layering them with voice tracks and clips of film dialogue (The Wedding Singer, Gremlins, and Anchorman, just to name a few) and nearly constant, yet not excessive or overdone, scratching, never staying very long on one melody or theme before moving on to the next. All of this activity has the potential to be bit of a distraction, but Koala is talented enough as a musician and DJ that he's able to keep the audience's attention with his catchy rock guitar and jazz piano samples and funky breaks. It's all very musical, the cuts and scratches serving to add to the songs as opposed to breaking them up (he plays, for example, the V-IV section of the 12-bar blues of "Dinner at 1:00 A.M" by scratching it out). Is Your Mom's Favorite DJ the kind of album you'd put on repeat, and listen to for days on end? No, probably not (though, to be perfectly fair, there are few DJ sets that are). But as a fun, informative celebration of Koala's decade of work, it's absolutely great.

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