Noise Pop Review: Kid Koala, DJ Swayzee, Jel, J House
February 28, 2011
Written by Nic Buron
Friday night’s Noise Pop show at Mighty was a pleasant mix of those who donâ€™t get out to dance at the club that often and those who do. This had a lot to do with the contrast of acts for the evening, a clever mix of talents that united two different crowds.
Hailing from San Francisco, J House is a DJ with an artful streak. Stylistically he was all over the board in a way that in less able hands would have been a mess. He jumped from genre to genre, evoking the electronic music gods all while keeping his mind on the dance floor.
Jel makes instrumental electronic music with beats as hard as titanium, mostly live. His hands move so quick he could put non-sentient beings out of work. Using a few sample triggering devices (MPC and SP-808 to be exact), a loop pedal, and a minimal backing track, he created songs that others would have toÂ spend days programming. Jel only looked up at the crowd between songs, because like everyone else in the room, he couldnâ€™t take his eyes off his fingers.
San Franciscoâ€™s DJ Swayzee brought a dance club sensibility – evidenced by the fact that nearly the whole club squished onto the dance floor once the bass hit the speakers. The temperature of the club skyrocketed, so kudos to him for being the only one in the club who was able to keep their jacket on (and it was leather at that).
As a recovering turntablist nerd, I can tell you that Kid Koala made me fall off the wagon. He immediately brought back nostalgia, as I remembered the days of seeing Kid Koala and his ilk, when after the show Iâ€™d be up until 4 AM on a school night trying to replicate their moves.
Itâ€™s clear that Kid Koala doesnâ€™t reside in the turntablistâ€™s retirement home; he is as fresh as ever. Using three turntables, he executed complicated scratches, beat juggling, and brought the fire, all while trapped in a koala suit (apparently he lost a bet and has to wear the suit for a 100 shows, this being number 21). Right from the start, whether he was making nerds swoon or the crowd participate in the kids’ song he created for Yo Gabba Gabba, he had the club in the palm of his hand. When he said touch your toes, we did it.