Published May 25, 2019"Think of it as a two-hour brain massage," Kid Koala told the audience during his mid-afternoon Lawnya Vawnya performance at Eastern Edge Gallery. That pretty much sums up his Music to Draw To show — an event that's not so much a concert as it is an interactive installation with Kid Koala serving as curator.
As the Montreal turntable wizard explained partway through the two-hour performance, he began doing these performances a decade ago in his hometown of Montreal — partly as a way to share his downtempo record collection with the public, and partly as relief from the isolation of working on a graphic novel.
Although Kid Koala has now released two ambient Music to Draw To albums, this was more of a DJ gig than a traditional electronic set. The artist had three turntables and a mixer set up as he spun as array of blissful electronic music, quiet singer-songwriter tunes, and twittering birdcalls: Beach House's "Space Song," Radiohead's acoustic "True Love Waits," and Kid Koala's famed spin on "Moon River" all made their way into the mix. The artist also showed off some of his best turntable tricks during an unreleased Dan the Automator collaboration featuring Damon Albarn.
Around the room, a few dozen participants immersed themselves in creative projects at folding tables: kids drew with felts, graphic designers pulled out their laptops, and I even saw one guy with a multi-track session open on Logic (but he didn't have headphones, so lord knows what he was doing). Kid Koala himself did some drawing, and he told the audience, "You can do whatever you want, so long as it's quiet. Some people do taxes and stuff."
As for me, it was an exceptionally relaxing place to write this review in real time.