Lord Mouse and the Kalypso Katz
- region:Special Projects
- label:Piranha Records
- type: Band, Composer/Songwriter
- gender:male, female
They’re serious – with a firm tongue in cheek! Smack in the middle of the techno and electro metropolis that is Berlin, Lord Mouse and his cast of international musicians and German Fräulein singers are working hard on reviving traditional calypso from the Caribbean islands – in equal measures rootsy and up-to-date.
Cool hats, stylish suits; flashy dresses, big hairdos! It might have been a healthy reaction to all the low-profile hipsterisms that made Berlin the ruling capital of the international slacker world so effectively in the years since the Wall came down. Then again, there’s strong historical parallels to Berlin’s golden age of the Roaring Twenties, too: those were the days when calypso had its best time internationally and the Weimar Republic almost exploded in one great big excess of sex and drugs and rock’n’roll in its Goldenen Zwanzigern.
Either or both – it’s probably not a mere accident that Lord Mouse and the Kalypso Katz happened to come into existence where they did – in Berlin. Especially since Lord Mouse is an American expatriate, his band from six more nations, his Charming Vocal Sextet a flock of German Fräuleins, and the music of their choice originally a style originating among Afro-Caribbean slaves before growing to its international via global dancing on the volcano in the Roaring Twenties. Everything from anywhere and every age at the same time – that’s just the way it is with Berlin in the 21st century.
Calypso! Perfectly relaxed and groovy rhythms. Fluidly sashaying melodies. Funny singing. All this sums up to an underlying order to move your body and shake your booty so irresistible it even brings a regular Berlin crowd on its feet – that is: not just the city’s international party crowd! From the old songs that mock the slave owners through to the lustful carnival tunes of subsequent times right up to the hit songs of the heyday of the style, calypso lyrics are rebellious, humorous, and sometimes suggestive protests of corrupt politics or racial prejudice, while touting the singer’s street cred and sexual prowess.
Lord Mouse – with a capital “L” for ‘Lust for Life’ and ‘totally Laid-back’ – and his Kalypso Katz are the leading exponents of a new generation of calypso lovers, firmly rooted in their Kreuzberg, Berlin home quarters, yet cheerfully reaching out to other European capitals and beyond. Since its first edition in January 2015, the Lord and his Katz joined and pioneered the Caribbean Calypso Club – an international festival that saw the group accompany a nameable line-up of original artists from the Caribbean, where it all began.
- Andreas Ritzi (contrabass)
- Benoit Guitar (electric guitar)
- Chiquita Anita (backing vocals)
- Claudio Jolowicz (sax)
- Coca Cosi (backing vocals)
- Die Schicke Ulrike (backing vocals)
- Francesco Tonial (shakers)
- General Confusion (piano and songwriter)
- Jungle Jo (backing vocals)
- Kai Eckhardt (trumpet)
- Lenjes Robinson (marimba and percussion)
- Lord Mouse (singer and songwriter)
- Martin Pech (conga drums)
- Mateo Fauvet (mandolin and Spanish guitar)
- Nick Reddel (fiddle)
- Stephane Doucerain (percussion)
- Steven Moult (trumpet)
- Tiger Tam (backing vocals)
- Tom Lee Who (tenor ukelele and song writer)
- Vanillinda (backing vocals)
- Witold Niedziejko (sax)