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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars28
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on September 28, 2012
Let's just say I was born BEFORE the Brittish invasion, and my record (and CD) collection contains very few recordings made after 1965... I'm all jazz and blues. And I sure as heck don't own any rap or hip hop, no "house", nothing like that. Plus I play saxes, flutes, and clarinet professionally; I'm all about natural sound in the air, and not about electronics.
That said, I have to say this record by Kid Koala really is great... I can recognize a lot of the samples, but there are a lot of sounds I can't place. The way he put everything together is so hip.
New wine, old vines, baby.
To all my old guy friends: stretch a bit and check this out -- you'll definitely dig it!
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on September 30, 2012
The title "12 bit Blues" gives you a good hint of what you're going to get here. Kid Koala uses the iconic E-mu SP-1200 sampler to hack, slash, and glue back together an old-school blues-based masterpiece. This is particularly impressive considering the powerful sequencing software that modern music makers have at their disposal. This modern reinterpretation of very vintage blues tracks gives 12 bit Blues an eerie quality. Using the E-mu, Koala mixes up a series of 10 seconds (max, due to the old hardware) samples with distinct DJ wobbles, scratches, and quick rewinds. The music quality is excellant, and gives you the warm feel of old vinyl. Most of the tracks are down-tempo, and have just a hint of noise. With the heavy reliance that most modern DJs and electronic musicians have on advanced computing technology, 12 bit Blues provides you with a dream-like quality and a great listen.

Koala also demonstrates a bit of his playful side with this release. If you examine the sample image of the cover provided by Amazon you see a number of references to the included hand-powered cardboard turntable. Yes, this adorable, quirky turntable is actually included as a bonus, with a "15 blues bits flexi disc battle record" that contains the "Slinky" track from the film Looper. As long as you provide your own pin or needle, this acts as a tiny hand-powered gramophone. For music lovers, this gives you a great conversation starter. Of course, I can't bring myself to punch out the pieces to create the gramophone, but videos provided online by Koala demonstrate that it actually works.

In 12 bit Blues, Koala plays with everything from a blues band complete with vocals to an interesting experiment with solo blues guitar on 9 Bit Blues. If you're not familiar with Koala, I would highly recommend this record as a starting place. If you are a fan of vintage DJ's or of classic blues, you will not be disappointed.
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on December 10, 2012
Let me just open by admitting, there is no way I would have purchased this if it didn't have the working manual phonograph included in the packaging. The album is alright if you like electronic blues music, but the fact that someone put some effort into offering some extra value with the packaging (without raising the price dramatically, I might add), is great.

Buy it if you're a Kid Koala fan and/or love the idea of the flat-pack phonograph

Skip it if you just want the music and would toss the packaging anyway, I'm sure it's cheaper to just grab it digitally
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on April 21, 2014
I have been listening to the digital album since it came out and I just received the vinyl LP today. After listening to this album again (for the twentieth time) I will still have to say that it's fantastic. A high quality, cohesive LP from a scratcher is hard to find. Though he is having fun and jamming out on some tracks, he never loses focus and keeps everything nice and tight. I also love the instructions for how to make my own cardboard record player.
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on October 27, 2012
I'm really into trip-hop, downtempo, electronica, lately...especially like Wax Tailor, DJ Krush, Chinese Man, DJ Vadim... I especially like when old jazz/blues classics are sampled. I'm ALWAYS looking for new stuff...

When I came across this and read the description... it sounded too good to be true. I got it and started listening, and braced myself for the letdown...instead, I was absolutely blown surpassed my expectations in every way. Catch, hooky, mesmerizing...and I LOVE LOVE LOVE the choice of blues samples.

This really showcases the artform/creativity of this genre/these artists. The original music shines through... I would even argue that it's enhanced by the recontextualization... Many accuse samplers of disrespecting original material. When I listen to this, I hear it being respected and lovingly placed in a new light. Ironically, I like the original stuff so much, I will now make it my mission to find out who these artists are and buy their original material... EVERYBODY Wins!

Like the other reviewer...I'm a relatively old guy (48)....and I think that if you took an old school blues aficionado who was open minded...and played this...they would get it...Just like the other reviewer.

To me, this is shaping up to be a classic... right up there with DJ Shadow's Endtroducing.

Update: For God's Sake, Someone please tell me who the blues artists are on this album...especially 2 bit blues... I'm kinda disappointed that I'm unable to locate the credits anywhere (I HOPE this is just an oversight!). I need to buy some of this original material!
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on April 24, 2014
I like music that's different and creates its own genre. Maybe a stretch, as scratching vinyl DJ remixing has been around but Eric San AKA Kid Koala is one of the best. It is such a groovy flow of bluesy samples that put me in a good mood instantly. Dig it, check out his earlier albums to experience his amazing talent.
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on January 21, 2013
I have been listening to this weird record and all I have to say is that it is amazing, a very good and new aproaching to blues from Hip Hop. As Hip Hop and blues lover I love this record so much. I think it is a good ítem for any music lover due to it's new aproach to the blues. A true worthly curiosity. And it contains a marvelous toy: a cardboard kit to make your own hand drive mini turntable to play the mini flexi disc also include. Just for this funny toy it would be an interesting purchase, but as I said the récord is amazing, full of old sounds, scratches, and fine grooves.
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on November 14, 2012
I really enjoyed this album. He managed to keep the laid back vibe and feel of the old blues songs he sampled while mixing them with beats and other more modern electronic sounds. It's relaxing and doesn't get old after a few listens. Pretty much anything from Kid Koala or Dan the Automator is good. Try Lovage if you like this type of laid back quality music.
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on October 16, 2012
If you know what Kid Koala does, than you know already: Great Album. If you don't know what Kid Koala does then have a listen... check him out on youtube and his website. He is a great turntablist and consistently brings his music to new places with a high level of craft and commitment to a sense of fun even when those cold Canadian winters give all their indigenous marsupials the blues. In this case he turns his nimble digits toward the blues and executes something that both is and is not the blues in the denotative sense. Regardless: His music is uncommonly interesting and fun, good-timey and funky. Furthermore- He ALWAYS gives fans something interesting weather at a live show or in his hand drawn album art, inclusion of a flex-vinyl and hand powered turntable kit, or in his graphic novels. Like his stuff or not, it cant be denied he is a multimedia talent with a keen sensibility and great relationship with his fan base and great integration into whatever collaboration he ends up in. See: lovage, handsome boy modeling school, the slew etc. I look forward to the rest of the dudes career. THANKS FOR ANOTHER ONE KID!!!!
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on January 4, 2013

I CONTACTED NINJATUNE AND THEY WERE VERY HELPFUL AND SENT OUT THE BONUS TRACK RIGHT AWAY (at no additional cost!! The following is my origanl review:

The album is good - quite good.
I did not, however, recieve the " BONUS TRACK FLEXIDISC AND TOOLS TO BUILD A HAND POWERED TURNTABLE (see artwork) " This was my main reasons for purchasing this album.
I've been a fan of Kid Koala for a long time and was very disappointed at this oversight - I don't know who is handling the sales but I will be contacting Ninja Tune and updating this review based on there action/inaction.
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