London, October 5, 2008
The Saarland region lost it’s unique soulful Reggae band last year: Kinky Brown, known for covering Jamaican standards as well as for an old fashioned but spontaneous Ska
sound. This morning - by chance - I read their name in my 2005 Diary and in the afternoon and this afternoon I took some time to have their songs in my player for a while.. so I’m kind of redoing my thougths about Kinky
origins of sound
Their genre extends from Justin Hinds (a Rastafari-influenced Jamaican Ska singer, conquering Kingston in the 60s), Bob Marley,
only not to mention a flavour of the Australian formation the Valentines.. But also there are characteristics of “the Ethiopians” whose political engagement once caused riots in Jamaica.
I had the chance to
see one of their performances autumn 2006 in Lebach, 20 minutes north from Saarbrücken. A disappointing version of “the Israelite” came out, speedy, non-refined and seasoned with vocals out of tune. It all reminded me of worst jams
I’d seen that usually are performed after a good many fusts of beer. Fortunately a nicely played “Bar tender” restored the level. These guys canplay well, but don’t do so necessarily. The previous year –
as I found out on You Tube, Kinky Brown didn’t do too badly while covering “54 46 was my number” though the singing was mediocre.
warm quality, doubtable level
One has to admit that the sound conditions on both events made it hard to make it all worth while, with hardly any reverb on moments when it would be welcome, definitely because it was open air. At the Lebach event I attended, a non-balance of sound wasted
the best moments. Sure, Kinky brown was a band with charm and a warm quality. This would ask for a more secure touch in sound technique.
Who wants to see the guys in action can only rely on the media now, ’cause there are no more gigs left
to expect. Not together at least. Each of the young men has his own background and qualities: Hajo singing German, Manuel Sattler bringing Saarländisch Music to live, Andreas feeling home with 60s classics and the decades after..
Deedoo_S, an artist with possibilities
But the artist that strikes me most is Deedoo_S. Born in France and moving to Germany in his early 20s, he has a lot of
experiences from Classic percussion and violin to “Ensemble Vide”, an experimental Rockband in Paris but also Visuals and even a song for a Movie Soundtrack (“taking back Odiorne”,
prod: Aaron Marinel, new Hampshire 2006) and besides CD cover design.
As a musician Deedoo_S is as influenced by Bob Marley as are his Kinky Brown companions, but also by David Bowie, the Ramones and Velvet Underground.
But apart from all that, he’s a guy with fantasy and a precise eye for technical creation; to give you one example: “Behind the Lights”, his music video in 1995 intertwined acoustics and electronics. The clip is slightly surrealistic,
or like one commentator said: “wie ein ganz übler Drogen Trip” (like a totally nasty drug trip).
a real worker
Besides, Deedoo_S has been the one to
write Kinky Brown’s lyrics. He seems to be a worker. A tendency to work fast showed off in a One Day Production he did in France: the short silent movie “Raison” (he proudly mentions on one of his pages) featuring and shooting it
His Myspace statistics – in spite of all this - are not overwhealming and the Saarbrucken region has remained his main playground up till now. The end of Kinky Brown might mean that after four years of band music, Deedoo_S
has a chance to dedicate himself to some of his other talents. The sense of freedom he apparently has, can offer him a good part of the ride to success in more than one realm.
Keith Lane Chester