No doubt! Dirty Honkers is a Berlin based music group composed of Hip Hop producer/singer Gad Baruch Hinkis (a.k.a D.J. Neckbreaka) from Israel and saxophonists/singers Andrea Roberts (a.k.a Screechy 2 Shoes) from Canada & Florent Mannant (a.k.a. Flap Jack Malone) from France. This saucy trio rocks the Berlin techno scene with a big swing jive served with foxy vocals and crunchy raps. Their music although very important to the electro swing movement flirts with pop culture and strives to create music for the new dance generation (biography from Dirty Honkers’s website). So when they released their last L.P SuperSrunk on Banzai Lab, i know i need to make an interview with this fellas!
Interview by Don Mescal Date: 2013-12-10
Once upon a time, Dirty Honkers … created the universe, and the mountain goat, and they saw that it was awesome.
Are you crazy ?
Gad: yeHA HAHAHA no… gesundheit.
Flo : We walk the fine line between crazy and edgy.
We are 100% DIY , the music we put out is unique, our show is a high energy flick, sometimes hard hitting but always colorful. Thanks to Andrea’s costume-making skills, we always look very special on the stage and in our videos. We manage to keep the electro alive. An other particularity of the Dirty Honkers is that we are from totally different places, all aliens inhabitating the planet Berlin with completely different musical backgrounds.
Gad: we have been playing some of these songs for about 2 years, so they have been carfully crafted over time to deliver our essence in the form of a studio album, its kinda hard to capture what our live show is like, so I think we did a pretty decent job of that.
Flo: this album is a big step for us as it defines our sound in a more electronic direction with a much higher-hand production. It’s a real trip that goes to many different places, we have some swing influences of course but also Boogie, Afro or even Latin vibes. The production of the electronic part has its own touch with some acid stabs and fat rhythmic, it’s fresh and not-clean like we like it!
Flo : I’m from Bordeaux and have known these guys for ages. We had music projects together and we grew up on similar musical grounds so they were the first label I could think of when we started looking for partners. They also strongly value the relation between acoustic and electronic music and have major hip hop influences. Their support was always a great confort, they are true friends for sure!
We were very lucky to gather some very fine musicians who dedicated their time to make this album sound so kickass. Most of these fellas are friends and are part of our scene here in Berlin where we all played in numerous projects even before the Honkers started. We also reached out to the french side to get some exclusive and fresh sounds.
On the trumpet we had the amazing Nacho straight out from Cuba who braught us a hot and screaming trumpet on a couple of Big Band sections. To back him up we asked our good friend Gal Bar Adon founder of the well-known UK Dubstep band JazzSteppa to blow some trombone lines. For the latin vibe raphael Perrein on the congas and Louis Abado on the timbales, two fellas from back in days and very involved with Banzai Lab who spiced up the track , Get on it. our brazilian friend Seraphin Also recorded some percussions to add to the overall tribal sound. For the tune Dirty Looks we wanted a really jazzy touch and Nicolas Cerezuelle turned out being the man! He’s active in Paris with his band Union Special, a really hot south-african Jazz combo. For the final urban touch on that track, we were lucky enough to have Senbei from Smokey Joe & the Kid to squeeze a session for us, it brought the old school flavour the track needed.
Static is the ultimate music video format we put out for the release of the album. Basically we wanted to mix music and acting since all three of us always have a lot of fun in front of the camera. So we came up with a scenario involving all three of us and our alter egos: the Super Honks. The Music video was pretty ambitious so we asked our video producer Paul Ohmert to get his hands on it and Manuel Graubner to direct the shoot, they put a super team together and Paul found the perfect bad guy by asking the great photographer Oliver Rath to play the role. It looks amazing! We are very proud that it came out so well. Of course you should watch the whole trilogy to really get the music video.
Gad: We would love to do colaborations with big names in the jazz world.. as for insperations, we usualy try to avoid sounding like anybody specific, we do however love boogie woogie, film noir scores, hip hop, african polyrhythms, and 90’s eurodance P..p.ppp..POP!!
Flo: Yeah, some jazz musicians would be interesting. I mean ultimately it would be great to have a 10 piece big band! And besides musical collaboration we would love to rock the stage with a huge show involving dancers, super video screening and fireworks!
We have a couple of improvement on the go and we will try some of them out for our Berlin release party where we will guest some super cool dancers and our dear Gal Bar Adon from JazzSteppa on the trombone. After that we will be touring Europe, mostly Germany and France but also Belgium, Luxembourg and Switzerland. We are working on a short tour in Israel in September and after that we’ll see, Canada, the UK and Japan are definitly on top of the list!
We also want to put out a couple of remixes as a follow up to the album just to keep our DJ friends busy.
Gad: i was really sick one night and did a whole show l laying on the floor and puking on the plant on the stage, the audience didnt even notice i think,.
Flo: Haha, yeah I remember, that was such a mess! I personally remember stage diving after a super punky tune and landing right on the one Girl Gadi was eying the whole concert. She had to leave the party with a black eye and probably a death wish on me..
Flo: Batman (The cartoon character from the 90’s, not the movies)
Gad: indiana jones..this belongs in a museum!!!
Gad: shout out to all you aliens out there… we are ready for you!!! dont leave us hanging!!
Flo: Big up to Paul Ohmert our video Producer and Manuel Graubner who directed our latest videos, you guys did a killer jobs and so did the amazing video team, much love to ya’ll