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July/August 2000

Kid Koala
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Ninja Tune

Victor from Montreal turned Grooves on to turntable visionary Kid Koala's wicky-wacky home tape Scratchcratchratchatch (three turntables and a sampler) back in '96. Four years later, the Kid drops Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Though programmed into 14 tracks ("Fender Bender," "Temple of Gloom"), Carpal Tunnel Syndrome has no actual songs, no apparent concept, no hidden meaning. It's a Prince Paul-inspired, pop cultural musique concrete goofathon-call them improvisational turntable compositions with irony. Basically, a smiley blur of whack lecture records ("The koala bears: they sleep by day and make love by night, as we do mostly"), comedy albums, TV/film dialogue, familiar rock/funk hooks, old-school beats, jazz solos, CTS has two moments of absolute clarity-the "Cold Sweat" -rocking, guitar feedback-scratching "Music for Morning People" and "Naptime"'s dazed and confused Hawaiian-guitar lullaby.

Originally published in July/August 2000
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