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A saucy five-piece band with a penchant for creating momentous, multi-layered electro-pop love songs that pulse with the energy of live norteƱo and cumbia sounds, KINKY is charming heartthrobs for an increasingly global groove conscious public. They're also among an all but endangered breed of bands that are eclectic without artifice, which is as a result of their genuine cross-section of musical roots and interests.

"All of us have very different influences in music," says Ulises Lozano, who, in the studio, becomes an unofficial leader of sorts for the band. "Me, I'm more into electronic music. Omar listens to a lot of Latin and jazz music, while Gil and Carlos are more into the rock and trip-hop style."

All five members of Kinky (who range in age from 22 to 31) are from Monterrey, Mexico and knew each other for years from playing around town. "Because Monterrey is not that big of a city, most musicians know each other from playing in different bands, or from school," explains Ulises.

Formed in 1998, Kinky first caught the ear of U.K. producer Chris Allison (whose credits include work with The Beta Band and Coldplay) a year later. Kinky then stormed the Battle of the Bands in New York at the annual Latin Alternative Music Conference in August 2000, beating out ten other finalists to win the contest for outstanding, unsigned Latin American bands. Shortly thereafter, Chris Allison signed Kinky to his London-based Sonic360 group of labels and headed into the studio in Monterrey with them to produce their debut, self-titled album.

Ever since winning the Battle of the Bands and recording their album, Kinky has continued to build on their reputation of being amazing live performers. The year 2001 was a busy year that included memorable dates in Colombia, France, Mexico, and England. All but eliminating the gap between audience and artist, their wildly infectious stage show, which frequently finds band members swapping instruments, ignites the room (whether a nightclub or rock venue) into a spirited, participatory celebration. After one of several sold-out gigs at London's Cargo Club, the London Metro called them "a demented fusion of funky guitar licks, electronic beats, housey grooves, and stomping electro-rock."

While Kinky the band is, first and foremost, a live group out to rock the house, Kinky as an album also has a firm foot into the world of electronic dance music, thanks largely to the witty and technically precise programming led in the studio by Ulises. Few bands merge the worlds of rock and dance with such unfettered ease.

Kinky transcends boundaries with an untainted joie de vivre. Their focus on the universal principles of funk help to serve up a sensual musical feast that you can't help but devour.