Kid Koala Music To Draw To: Io
Published Feb 11, 2019Far out amongst the moons of Jupiter and ancient Greek myth, Kid Koala is looking at star maps as he sets the course for a cosmic drift with a virtually endless control panel.
His first album composed exclusively on hardware synthesizers, the artist born Eric San has traded in the vinyl decks on this wandering followup to 2017's Music To Draw To: Satellite, enlisting New York's Trixie Whitley for a handful of chilling vocal contributions.
Named for one of the Galilean moons of Jupiter and the character in Greek mythology of the same name, the record draws upon the story of Io, a mortal woman who rejected advances from Zeus, but nevertheless endured his harassment and subsequent rape.
While Whitley's smouldering R&B vocals steal the show on her featured tracks, by turns heartbreaking and hypnotic as she waxes devotional on "All For You," broods on "Hera's Song," or confronts her circumstances in whispered passages that wrap around themselves in affirming delay manipulations ("Escape of Io"). San layers several synths on each track, and he's crafting languid ("Shielded," "Transmission 4"), woozy ("Liminality"), and shimmering ("Resonance") ambient washes in the spaces between.
The pair construct an imaginary space to contemplate the complex legacy and dynamics of sexual assault, victim blaming, and power abuse that stretches back to ancient times. Despite Music To Draw To: Io's distant framing, this is an album immediately concerned with issues that are overwhelmingly terrestrial and contemporary. (Arts & Crafts)