Canadian DJ, musician, turntablist and author of graphic novels, Eric San has recorded his latest full length album under the name Kid Koala. The album is a collection of slower, ambient sounds that reveal San’s exploration away from turntables and towards more conventional instruments. Although Music to Draw to: Satellite does feature some vinyl manipulation, San creates the majority of its atmosphere with guitar, bass and synth.
Music to Draw to: Satellite takes its name from a series of events that began in Montreal called “Music to Draw to…”; San would play five hours of “quiet time music”, as advertised on his personal web publication, and people would come to sit and work quietly. The venue would pass out hot chocolates and a pencil with admission, and the only rule was to refrain from disturbing people while they worked.
“Many people brought sketchbooks, some people knit, some people sculpted, video game developers coded, animators brought wacom tablets, screenwriters and playwriters typed,” the publication explains. “Since then Kid Koala and co. have held ‘Music to Draw to…’ events in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Toronto and London, UK.”
The album was released January 20t and features Icelandic singer and songwriter Emilíana Torrini, who adds soft, ethereally light vocals to the ambient sound San creates. With nine full length albums and dozens of collaborations with other artists since 1995, Torrini’s sound is quietly modern in the collaboration with San.
Music to Draw to: Satellite is slow, ambient electro-pop that lives up to its name. Over an hour in length, San and Torrini provide what feels like a larger space to work in. Their sounds echo back and forth across the album, as though each song is in communication with the next. The album allows you to enter into that dialogue and settle into whatever you’re working on.