Martin Tétreault and Kid Koala


BY Jerry PrattPublished Jan 23, 2008

Phono-Victo documents Kid Koala and Martin Tetreault’s 2005 Victoriaville festival performance. It’s a rare collaboration that’s a dead on improv hit. It works because Koala and Tetreault wisely built on their musical commonalities — instructional recordings, jazz, etc. — to construct the project’s creative apex. But Kid Koala, whose turntable virtuosity is well-known, and self-proclaimed "sonic conceptualist” Martin Tetreault, spinner of experimental noise compositions, structured their improv moves — mainly transitional cuts and cues — making this a wickedly inspired set. The duo’s vinyl-only rule, featuring the music of some of their fellow festival performers, adds an edge. The ensuing concert is seven dense tracks of free-jazz, hilarious sound art, spoken word, noise freak-outs and many "happy” sound accidents. Tetreault frequently sets the mix-down tone here, with Koala interjecting hype scratch patterns. Check out "Godzilla a les Blues,” where Tetreault gleefully mangles a blues groove that’s further disrupted by Koala’s abstract scratch fuckery. Tetreault’s love for avant-noise figures prominently here — listen for his mixing of Boredoms singer Yamatsuka Eye’s mental shrieks into "Michel Au Pays Des Merveilles.” Phono-Victo’s biggest surprise is how the duo’s symbiotic turntablism draws out their influences. At several points, Koala sounds eerily like himself and Coldcut combined, circa the Beats & Pieces era. And Tetreault’s noisy mix snippets occasionally channel a Naked City sonic barrage. Phono-Victo is a brilliant experiment in abstract and pop-culture turntablism.

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