KONK on the rooftop of Danceteria in New York City, circa 1983
|Origin||New York City, New York, United States|
|Genres||No wave, Afro-punk, electro, funk|
|Labels||99 Records, Dog Brothers Records, Celluloid Records, Rough Trade, 4th & B'way Records, Soul Jazz, Sleeping Bag Records, Unleashed Music|
|Past members||Perkin Barnes
Formed in 1980 in New York City, KONK was a band that emerged during a period marked by the post-punk/new wave and disco scenes which were prevalent at the time. KONK won the attention of both scenes by playing a hybrid of the two musical styles which involved the blending of a new wave attitude with the carefree nature of disco's dance crowd. KONK's musical influences ranged from Afrobeat, jazz, and funk to hip hop. Given these influence KONK's style is noted as being highly percussive, and containing simple, yet strong, backing bass lines. As part of New York’s post-punk dance scene they regularly played alongside groups such as Liquid Liquid, Bush Tetras, ESG, The Peech Boys and The Lounge Lizards. They have been featured in a recent book by David Byrne and others on the New York post-punk scene.
KONK was formed by avant-garde jazz personality Dana Vlcek and had among its many members: Richard Edson, who also played drums on the first Sonic Youth record and has had acting roles in such films as Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing and Jim Jarmusch's Stranger Than Paradise; Angel Quinones on congas, who later played for Jimmy Buffett; another member was Shannon Dawson (trumpet), who also was an early associate of Jean-Michel Basquiat in the band Gray, and the SAMO graffiti, and who did some of the band's promo poster art work. He is the uncle of actress Rosario Dawson. Geordie Gillespie plays drums and percussion, co produced the songs, and is the band archivist. After twenty years as a major label executive, he founded the marketing and management company, Unleashed Music. The band was managed by Ken Sitz, now creative director of Conelrad.
- "Soka-Loka-Moki" (7" single, 1981, Konk Organization, distributed by 99 Records)
- "Konk Party" (12" single, 4 tracks, 1982, Les Disques Du Crépuscule/Interference)
- "Konk Party" (12" single, 4 tracks, 1983, Celluloid Records)
- Yo! (LP, 1983, Les Disques Du Crépuscule)
- "Your Life" (7" single, 1984, Sleeping Bag Records)
- "Your Life" (12" single, 4 tracks, 1984, Sleeping Bag Records)
- "Love Attack" (12" single, 3 tracks, 1986, Dog Brothers Records)
- "Machine" (12" single, 2 tracks, 1987, Dog Brothers Records)
- Jams (LP, 1988, Dog Brothers Records)
- The Sound of KONK (Tales of the New York Underground 1981-88) compilation CD/2xL.P., 2004, Soul Jazz Records
- New York Noise (compilation LP/CD, Soul Jazz Records, 2003) includes song "Baby Dee" by Konk.
- "KONK: The Definitive Collection" (10-song digital release, 2008, Unleashed Music)
- KONK Live at CBGB November 6, 1981 (8 song digital release, 2009, Unleashed Music)
- Queen Latifah - All Hail the Queen
- St Etienne - Only Love Will Break Your Heart - "Little" Louie Vega, Kenny "Dope" Gonzalez Mix
- "Your Life" - #5 Dance Chart August 11, 1984
- KONK Jams LP Cuts #30 May 7, 1988
- Bright Lights Big City - Dir James Bridges, Song - Love Attack
- Broken Embraces - Dir Pedro Almodóvar, Song - Your Life
- Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child - Dir Tamra Davis, Song - Your Life
- David Byrne et al. New York Noise: Art and Music from the New York Underground 1978-88 Photographs by Paula Court. Soul Jazz Records; illustrated edition, 2007.