The Magic Force Of Konk 1981-1988
Definitive Sounds Of A New York Jazz Punk Afro Disco Machine
• 3 x 140g Limited Edition vinyl LP.
• Each of the disks are a different colour.
• Wide spined gloss laminated sleeve, with full colour uncoated inner sleeves.
• Contains all Konk’s studio recordings, plus rare live recordings at CBGB’s.
• Includes a disk of DJ mixes that can be used to mix alongside the original versions of ‘Your Life’ and ‘Konk Party’.
• 12pg Book containing photos, flyers and a write up by journalist Ezra Gale.
• A huge Konk/Pigbag gig poster.
• Digital download included.
New York City, 1980. Punk meets funk meets graffiti meets hip-hop, avant-garde jazz meets club culture. A creative, cross-pollinating flower; a dangerous city beset on all sides by crime and disrepair- take your pick (or accept that both are true). At the least, it was a time and place where uttering the phrase “punk-funk-Latin big band” wouldn’t have gotten you any puzzled looks. It was a time of KONK.
Assembling the pieces of the bubbling creative cauldron of the New York City of the time like a jigsaw, KONK brought together Latin percussionists from the Bronx, wild-looking characters from the East Village, graffiti artists, Jazzers and club kids—all on one stage. Kind of a microcosm of New York City at the time, actually. Combining Afro-Cuban percussion, Fela-inspired Afrobeat and trance-like dance elements, the band topped it all off with…disco.
Wait, disco? Wouldn’t they have been rebelling against that? These downtown kids so grounded in live music, wouldn’t they have rebelled against the commercialized cult of the DJ that was then taking off in the big dance clubs, soon rendering them and their quaint live instruments obsolete? You’d think….and yet, this is the most interesting part of the KONK story. Instead of rebelling or turning their back on the DJs who were pumping out new high-wattage MIDI-kick drum-fueled dance mixes, the band embraced it, enveloped it, encompassed it like a gelatinous amoeba, and were in turn embraced by the burgeoning club scene. The KONK story is equal parts the band powering through sets at CBGB’s and the Mudd Club, the epicentres of the city’s punk and “no-wave” scene, as it is the band rocking a cavernous roomful of partygoers at the normally DJ-only Danceteria or Paradise Garage, where legendary DJ Larry Levan pumped out epic-length mixes of their songs.
KONK, a band that sprang from the seething creative stew that was early-’80’s New York City, their music sounds so fresh today because instead of running from the future, KONK embraced it and so helped shape it.