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Kid Koala led a Turntable Orchestra of audience members at Le Poisson Rouge (pics)

Turnatable wiz Kid Koala branched out long ago from breakbeats and showing off his incredible skills, having released two graphic novels with accompanying soundtracks, and playing shows that have become increasingly more audience interactive. This year Kid Koala released Music To Draw To: Satellite, an ambient album he made with Icelandic singer Emilíana Torrini which you can listen to below. Tying in with that album, he played two special, very interactive shows on Sunday (2/12) at NYC’s Le Poisson Rouge where the audience was seated at tables with a turntable, an EQD ‘Interstellar Orbiter’ effects box, and a small crate of color-coded vinyl records. Through subtle colored lighting changes in the room, the audience, aka the Ambient Vinyl Orchestra, was cued to play along.

Though Torrini’s vocals were taped, Kid was joined on stage by two other musicians, one of whom conducted the audience, and an artist who projected colored liquid visuals from a circular glass table that could be rotated. Throughout the set, Kid typed the lyrics along with the tracks and they could be seen on the round center backdrop. Kid showed everyone all the controls before it started and the conductor went though what the hand signals were and what you were supposed to do with the records. Each station still had a certain amount of autonomy, allowing them to put their own sounds into the mix via scratching, and the effects box.

While it was mostly a lighthearted set with lots of anecdotes amongst the music, Kid did play “The Darkest Day,” a song about his cousin’s unexpected and devastating suicide which, needless to say, was a very heavy and emotional piece. Kid finished the show with a solo performance of his turntablist skills, and the early show was recorded live for the BBC. Pictures from that early show are in the gallery above.

photos by Greg Cristman

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