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A Very Koala Christmas @ Distrikt [Review]

There’s something to be said about walking in to a club filled with a vastly different dynamic then the norm. When you scan the crowd and notice it’s packed with people significantly older than the average club-goer you find yourself thinking one of two things – “Where the hell am I?” or “This is going to be awesome!”. The latter was the case this past Tuesday at Distrikt Nightclub in Victoria, where these so called geriatric ravers gathered to celebrate the holidays with Atomique Productions and the legendary turntablist Eric San, better known as Kid Koala.

As the crowd filed in, we were treated to a blend of feel-good tunes by Victoria’s Dee Jay Anger. Clearly not a reflection of his name, Anger got the crowd warmed up with a mix of Funk, Soul, and other old timey classics. For most of the night genres were put aside, although from open to close there was a healthy dose of hip hop to be heard. Maybe it had something to do with the older crowd or the festive time of the year, but the show seemed to take the form of one giant sing along as the room began to fill.

The transition was seamless as Anger set the stage for another local legend to grace us with his presence. Sporting a hearty helping of hip hop and bass, DJ Murge quickly showed us all why he’s a Redbull 3style champion. The lone B-boy of the night helped spread the vibe to those that were somehow still seated, and before you knew it the dance floor was packed with people celebrating the art of the scratch.

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Murge put the finishing touches on his set and as the headphones were unplugged and the laptop put away, an excitement fell over the crowd. A quick glance around the room provided you with the sights of a cozy wall of fire, a lonely Christmas tree, and a sea of smiling faces. The crowd knew Christmas was coming early this year, and we were all just waiting to open our present.

Cheers rang out as Kid Koala took the stage and picked up the mic. Usually when a DJ starts talking, it takes about three seconds before you’re wishing they hadn’t. Not the case here. The natural storyteller captivated the audience with a brief introduction and a rundown of how he earned his name, before asking us to help him name his turntables for the night (which we aptly named George, Michael, and Mustard). Soon after, the mischievous marsupial reached into his bag and pulled out the first piece of vinyl that would grace our ears. After an example of his turntable wizardry it wasn’t long before he was back on the mic, asking for volunteers to take part in a staring contest.

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From start to finish, Kid Koala was intent on keeping the crowd engaged via his unique combination of scratching, record selection, and audience interaction. Unfortunately, time flies when you’re having fun and soon it was time to say goodbye. But not before chants of “One more song!” rang out from the crowd. As San strolled back on stage, he made a proposition – more music for a conga line; a fair trade by any standards. One song turned into what seemed like 10, and at some point security decided they wanted to go home.

That was it. That was all. As people said their goodbyes and made their way toward the door it was obvious everyone had come together for one reason – to have a little bit of fun at such a hectic time of year. And if Kid Koala was only capable of one thing, it’s definitely having some fun. Being part of such an interactive show can make it difficult to describe what Kid Koala brings to the table, so just picture this: 3 turntables, 1 man, and a seemingly endless stack of records that act more like a page in a storybook than anything else.

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It has been a wild year in the province of BC and whether you celebrate the holidays or not, take this time to spend it with the ones you love. Because in the end that’s what really matters. Well, let’s be honest, that and a good New Years party!

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Part man, part buffalo, part maple syrup. Pretty much the Canadian version of Grizzly Adams.

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