Rare Konk Video: A Piece of Downtown Clubland History
As you might have gathered from films like Downtown 81 and Kill Your Idols, the downtown underground NYC club scene of the early '80s was a thrilling cross-pollination of visual artists, musicians, filmmakers, DJs, dance music, rock, and more. The heady era has had an influence on contemporary trends among all of the above as well, so in a way that scene is still very much with us today. Those who want a fresh dose of that period's unpredictable, off-kilter greatness in all its glory are directed to a rare video that has just been unearthed, for the Konk song "Soka Loka Moki."
Konk was central to the early-'80s NYC scene — not only were their singles spun at both rock and dance clubs, their music itself was an infectious mix of disco, funk, African, and Latin grooves with a bit of a New Wave/No Wave/post-punk edge added. The group included the likes of Richard Edson, who had also been an early member of Sonic Youth and went on to act in everything from Jim Jarmusch's Stranger Than Paradise to Ferris Bueller's Day Off. The video for "Soka Loka Moki" (a single distributed by 99 Records, home to ESG and Liquid Liquid) is a strikingly surreal affair, seemingly an homage to controversial NY underground film director Jack Smith of Flaming Creatures fame. It's a weird, wonderful reminder of the anything-goes aesthetic that emerged in that time and still influences the present moment.