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Kid Koala featuring Emiliana Torrini - Music To Draw To: Satellite album review

Canadian turntablist collaborates with the other kooky Icelander on sixth album

Kid Koala featuring Emiliana Torrini - Music To Draw To: Satellite album artwork

Music To Draw To… sees the experimental electronicist otherwise known as Eric San teaming up with Iceland’s other kooky songstress with the esoteric chirrup, Emilíana Torrini.

Using his arsenal of synths and strings, guitars and turntables, he creates 18 tracks to tell the story of a couple separated by a mission to Mars, seven of which feature Torrini’s disarmingly lovely cries and whispers. These transmissions from the satellite heart capture the sense of isolation and despair caused by being lost in space. The Observable Universe is representative of the instrumental pieces, all crackly sounds picked up on a scanner from some distant corner of the universe and a forlorn figure plucked on a lone bass. Fallaway typifies the vocal ones, Torrini exhaustedly cooing over a series of melancholy keyboard chords. ‘When we lay there side by side’ sounds like “sad by sad”. On Collapser, she sounds pained, enervated by loss. This is dreampop designed for deathly quiet nightmares. Kid Koala might not be obviously prog, but then, listening to Satellite’s drones and detailed delicacy – on what is effectively a concept album about estrangement and alienation – it occurs that he absolutely typifies the genre.

Paul Lester
Paul Lester

Paul Lester is the editor of Record Collector. He began freelancing for Melody Maker in the late 80s, and was later made Features Editor. He was a member of the team that launched Uncut Magazine, where he became Deputy Editor. In 2006 he went freelance again and has written for The Guardian, The Times, the Sunday Times, the Telegraph, Classic Rock, Q and the Jewish Chronicle. He has also written books on Oasis, Blur, Pulp, Bjork, The Verve, Gang Of Four, Wire, Lady Gaga, Robbie Williams, the Spice Girls, and Pink.