Even though this is supposed to be "promotional" material I have to confess that I have a hard time precisely summing up what it is exactly that we do and more importantly , defining it within a specific market-driven category. Is it "industrial"?......"industrial rock"?...."noise"? Hows about "experimental electronic music that veers at times towards rock" It works for me. We use guitars, drums and voice, like a rock band but we also use computers, samplers and taped elements to create dense, evolving soundscapes. Its not in the boring and pointless way that these technologies are used in techno, electronica etc. Generally there is a strong formal/conceptual foundation in what we create that goes beyond the use of technology as an end in and of itself. Some of our pieces are rhythmic but aren't really danceable in the conventional sense, while others consist of textured sound progressions usually operating within an extra- musical conceptual framework. Some pieces combine the conceptual thing with formal ideas, as well. What the fuck is a "dark wave" anyway?
The boring stuff: we've been in existence in one form or another since 1986 and have had a variety of audio and visual releases. Currently our membership consists of myself (the nameless narrator) on guitar/electronics and voice, Steve Lombardi on electronics and voice, Roxanne Benedetto, also on guitar and voice, and our newest member. percussionist/multi-instrumentalist Mike Golub. Our performances generally consist of a chaotic mixture of the aforementioned elements, usually accompanied by multiple channels of video that have formal/conceptual connections to the music. All the specific information pertaining to releases etc. is available on other parts of this site.
Influences are plentiful and diverse. I can only speak for myself on this one, though. I see Demek as a meeting ground of alot of ideas situated in both experimental and popular forms of music, as well as the visual arts and various theoretical schools. Want a list ? How's this?....: Varese, Ives, Zappa (roundly disliked by other Demek members) Adorno, Xenakis, Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Sonic Youth, Stockhausen, John Cage, Stan Brakhage, John Waters, Bukowski, Burroughs, Baseball, Neubauten, Gristle, Harry Crews, Bakunin, Kropotkin, Bob Black, Tony Oursler, John Cage, The Simpsons, Man Ray, Christianity, Elvis, Mumford, Reich, Dubord, Minutemen... and many others. One thing that we're definiely not influenced by is any of the cheese that is currently being marketed as "industrial" today (Nine Inch Nails, Ministry, and all that fake shit that emerges from the board rooms ). We believe , in fact, that the board room is the biggest influence on most popular "alternative" music today. When was the last time anyone had a creative thought in a board room ??
Con Demek is an abbreviation for Contemporary Demechanization which was the title for a collection of some of my writings back in 1985. Many of these writings formed the conceptual basis of the first Con Demek album : Disgorging Elements which was released during the Spring of 1987. Initially, our work functioned as a reaction to the political and cultural conservativism of the mid 80's, the period in which we were all in college. As time went on, we expanded to extra musical activities in order to generate content for our work. These activities have included the formation of mock social movements, the surveillance of semi private spaces (such as confessionals) and other fun stuff. Political conservativism certainly didn't die at the end of the eighties, it just took a more insipid and entrenched form. Culturally, things are somewhat different due to the fact that the corporate monolith finally remembered how to mine the youth market. I swear, I was just out in my living room and the TV was on, a Hooters video was playing (late 80's cheese rock) hmmm. So we have, on the one hand increased political conservativism (Clinton is a much better Republican than Reagan was) accompanied by, on the other hand, a somewhat looser cultural climate (although, I'm starting to question this in light of the recent Telcom legislation). Makes me start to wonder what this culture thing is really all about. Control? Manipulation? Mass deception?
We've used music and video as tools in our own bizzare anthropology. Most of our work has focused on the crtitcal evaluations of various belief systems. Our peculiar brand of anthropology usually manifests itself in ventures where we interact with practitioners of various strains of reactionary thought. These interactions are often documented and used in our music. An example of this is the piece PENANCE , which was on our 1994 HAPPY ORDEAL CD. PENANCE obliquely chronicles a three year exploration into the depths of institutionalized guilt in the "private" space of a roman catholic confessional. For this piece, we snuck into roman catholic confessionals with hidden recording equipment. Each participant confessed to really outrageous sins which were generally designed to force the priest to address the contradictions in his narrow system of "thought". For example I ,of course, confessed to masturbation as well as using physical punishment on my children when they strayed from christian teachings. The stupid priest, acting as the liason with god, told me that my thoughts were in the right place, I should just use better tactics. The priest told me to change my tactics with the young ones but otherwise didn't seem that fazed. This, I found to be pretty disturbing. I brought this up mainly to illustrate one of the most important characteristics of our work; that being our love of fucking with heavily institutionalized mind-sets and belief structures. That's how we have our fun and that's how we create stuff.
On our new album TECHNOLOGICAL SHACK-JOB we expanded our "research" into the realm of christian "counseling lines". We initially became interested in these lines from numerous nights of getting high and watching christian rock videos (a whole other topic) on the Cornerstone Television network. There was this one show that had a counseling line that you could call for spiritual guidance. They were just asking to be abused!! By chance , I came upon a list of official christian coalition counseling lines (found on the counter of a lame-ass guitar shop in Clifton Park, NY) and the fun began. CHRISTIAN PHONESEX (pts. 1-6) was the eventual outcome.