Known for their energetic live shows as much as their recordings, Kinky are a Latin alternative group that draws from funk-rock as well as electronic dance music, resulting in a unique hybrid that has garnered them an international following. The five-piece band from Monterrey, Mexico first came together in 2000 as a trio comprising vocalist/guitarist Gilberto Cerezo, keyboardist/programmer Ulises Lozano, and guitarist Carlos Chairez. Drummer Omar Gongora and bassist Cesar Pliego joined shortly thereafter, giving the group more of a band essence, and by summer 2000 the guys were prepared to perform at the Battle of Bands hosted by the annual Latin Alternative Music Conference in New York City. British producer Chris Allison was impressed by Kinky and offered to produce them as well as release their debut album on his Sonic 360 label. The British producer already had a solid track record — Coldplay, the Beta Band, Fila Brazillia, Dot Allison, the Wedding Present, Ned's Atomic Dustbin, and more — so there were high hopes.
The resulting self-titled debut, Kinky (2002), was met by critical acclaim and benefited commercially from a car commercial spot advertising the Nissan Altima. When Kinky began work on their follow-up album, Atlas (2003), they cut back on the electronics, favoring a sound that could be replicated live on-stage, for the group had become recognized as an impressive live act. Kinky's third album, Reina (2006), was recorded in a cabin in the mountains of Southern California and featured guest performances from Men at Work's Colin Hay and Intocable accordionist Ricardo Muñoz. The odds-and-ends collection Rarities arrived in 2007, before their fourth album, Barracuda, was released in late 2008. Following a massive world tour, Kinky collaborated with producer John King of the Dust Brothers to record 2010's Sueño de la Máquina. Kinky's next release found them stripping down for an acoustic performance on MTV's popular Unplugged show. An unusual challenge for an act so reliant on electronics, Kinky opted to blend subtle electronic elements into the mix while approaching many of the loops and beats organically, documenting the set on 2015's MTV Unplugged album. Two years later, they returned with their sixth studio LP, Nada Vale Más Que Tú, which harked back to the heavy electronic sound of their early releases. ~ Jason Birchmeier