Review: Koi Child, ‘Koi Child’ (2016)


Phat beats. Sick shapes. Epic jams. Rap. ‘Nu-Jazz’ rap outfit Koi Child release their first self-titled album noticeably under the production of Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker. So, what wonders come from Fremantle, W.A.?

Opening track, Grease, eases us into a groovy modern-jazz groove with rhodes-style keys. We quickly change pace in the following track, ‘Wumpa Rat,’ with syncopated keys and fuzzed out bass with hip-hop drum sensibilities. This song reminded me of Swamp Thing by Hiatus Kaiyote by virtue of the fuzzed out bass/hip-hop grooves. Swamp Thing quickly shifts into double time with MC Shannon Cruz Patterson dropping some sweet rhymes, ending with epic brass and psychedelic undertones. ‘Touch ‘Em‘ and ‘Slow One continue the album’s interesting mixture of song-jams.

I felt the album somewhat plateaud between ‘Frangipani and ‘Funky Jazz Music as the song structures become mildly formulaic. Thankfully, ‘Black Panda’ ramps it up again – shifting between between grooves whilst adding serious wompy synths. My favourite song in the album, ‘Japes,’ is an epic – moving from huge brass to something straight out of D’Angelo’s hands and back again. Let’s boogie. Go Fremantle!

This debut album is a really strong start; a kaleidoscope of ideas; of brass and beats. After finishing the album, I felt like I wanted more, especially after the funkiness of ‘Jape’. Such teasing. Still, I can’t wait for what’s next for Koi Child.

(Did I mention how good the brass sections are?)

richard thomas

Reviewed from 180-gram vinyl release

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