Diet Kong
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Diet Kong


Band Rock EDM


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Monkey Shines"

Diet Kong is a stirring musical apparition, conceived by Brooklyn-based artist Keith Gladysz. Gladysz, along with Alan Ess are synthetic magicians with a dramatic, highly-cerebral sound founded in rhythmic sequencing, repetition, hyper-nasal vocals and killer beats.

In this witches brew of sounds, Gladysz begins with some simple guitar chords, and then moves on to drum and base as well as techno in order to create an electro-rock amalgamation.

The result: a frightening, instantly entrancing dance mix worthy of your greatest fantasies and most perverted little nightmares. With an Arcade Fire-like appeal, Diet Kong's self-titled debut CD is like Pablo Neruda set to music. - The Deli Magazine, NY, NY

"Just For The Taste of It -Diet Kong fizzes with fun and ominous undertones"

COUNTLESS BANDS CAN trace their beginnings to one or maybe two significant and serendipitously accidental meetings, but Diet Kong, the collaborative effort between the Brooklyn-based, husband-and-wife team of Keith Gladysz and Jenn Penn is highly unusual and touching, even for the most cynical music fan.

“You know, we go way back, me and Jen,” Gladsyz explains in a phone interview from Diet Kong’s rehearsal space and recording studio in the Catskills. “We actually dated in seventh grade, and we lost touch for years and years and then we met up again at NYU. We got together in ‘99. It’s been 10 years, [and] we’ve been married for four.”

The earliest roots of Diet Kong as a band begin with Gladysz and Penn’s mutual love of art: He is an artist with an interest in graphic design, acting and music, while she works in video, writing and design. “Huntington is sort of the cultural center of that part of Long Island. There are a number of cool bands out there,” Gladysz says, referring to his birthplace. And it was in Huntington where both Penn and Gladsyz started to get involved in the local arts scene. Coincidentally, Gladysz’s good friend Alan Semerdjian was the caretaker of Walt Whitman’s birthplace, a hot spot ground for local artists. When Gladysz and Penn hung out there, they formed a bond with Semerdjian, who they eventually asked to join the band on guitar.

Diet Kong takes influence from a diverse set of bands, including Depeche Mode, the Pixies, Digital Underground and the German minimalist electronic outfit Pole, along with more mainstream acts like Radiohead and Beck. “I’d say that growing up, I was heavily influenced by New Order and all of that electronic rock stuff,” Gladysz admits. And even with those influences, Diet Kong has a rather unique sound.

The lyrical content of its songs at times has a bratty, sometimes obnoxious quality while managing to be funny in an offbeat and sophomoric manner.The music varies between hard-charging rock songs (wall of sound production, guitars sounding like car alarms) and electronica (blips and beeps with tightly syncopated and precise rhythms), and most of the band’s songs have a moment of muscular insistence behind the playfulness, and a dark, sinister undertone. Imagine a 4 a.m. coke party on that precarious tightrope between fun and disaster.

The band, however, does manage to balance the urge to party with an avant- garde sensibility at its live shows. It should be no surprise to see a weird video display that manages to fit perfectly with the songs and the lyrics in a way that’s uncanny and unpredictable. As Gladysz explains, the video part of the band’s live show is largely improvised and based on his own animation, footage that both he and Penn have shot and found footage. Penn manages to use a DJ-style mixer to mix and play with the video component of the show as she plays keyboards. At shows, Gladysz says, “people are dancing, so we’re going to push the elements to keep that going on more,” whereas “if we have a crowd that isn’t as high energy, we might do something different.We have to react to the situation.” - NY Press

"Diet Kong"

This New York group meddles in various genres, forming a sort of stylistic new-wave electronic rock.

Keyboard effects combined with original lyrics and distorted guitar make a strong wall of music. Overall, they are a hard-hitting band with a unique sound. - KPFT 90.1 FM Houston

"Diet Kong - Coma Motor Inn"

Diet Kong
Coma Motor Inn (Patriarch)

By Catherine Cole
Published: June 30th, 2008 | 9:00am

This debut release from Brooklyn-based Diet Kong packs a promise of a party and does not disappoint. Coma Motor Inn introduces art-noise-rock fans to the newly founded New York-label Patriarch Recordings, as well as the album’s main creative talents: Keith Gladysz and Jenn Penn.

Gladysz is the vocal force that leads the spotlight on every track of this eight-song tale of a boy and a girl sharing a sleepless night in a motel (are drugs involved? Perhaps … or maybe just a lot of soda). Needless to say, the opening song (“Call a Motor Inn”) sets it up pretty well: “Mirrors on the table / Mirrors on the ceiling / I won’t sleep tonight.” The rest of the album’s seven tracks keep the energy dance high with only brief seconds to catch your breath (and maybe blink). Although the fast-paced ride occasionally steers into overly-ironic territory, which is in part due to blunt, repetitive vocals and shallow, flat beats (“Bears & Beards”).

Frederick Sargolini gets a lot of cred for his mind-mixing sounds, which is really what provides Diet Kong’s original, art-party essence. It’s this creative foundation that ends up making this album a true musical adventure.

When the main duo manages to successfully meld their spastic minds together, the results are hyper-danceable rock songs where everyone wins. When they don’t, it sounds more like a clash of egos than anything else. Considering this is the first record from Diet Kong, there’s naturally some room for growth; however they’ve definitely left us enough room to shake it on the dance floor they helped to build.

- 3 Stars -

"Diet Kong - Coma Motor Inn"

Coma Motor Inn is an electronic-rock romp through one night at the dodgiest of “no-tell motels.” The images of renting a room by the hour and mirrored ceilings are painted early on. Interstate and parking lot sounds introduce a predictable and familiar title track filled with crunchy guitar, driving bass, and peppered synthesizer nonsense. When “Kid System” turns up four songs into the journey, colorful and majestic harmonies emerge that roll on throughout the next three tracks. “Still Got Heat,” “Much Love in the Evil Sound,” and “Lines and Lines” all have clever pop hooks, righteous grooves and more synthesizer ridiculousness. A few of the songs are broken up by almost inaudible jibber-jabber, and the album ends in the same anticipated fashion with which it begins. Diet Kong offers “fun in the sun” harmonies coupled with dark, creepy undertones; Coma Motor Inn could serve as the summer soundtrack for Goth Kids all over the pancake makeup universe. – Jack Gregory - Reax Magazine

"OurStage Pick: Diet Kong"

More grungy than the average electronic group, Diet Kong’s raspy guitar driven sound and echoed vocal effects produce a unique raw, unpolished blend of spastic dance rock. - CMJ Blog

"Diet Kong"

This is a rock album made with some click beats, guitar fuzz, and keyboards. I wasn't surprised to find that it is quite fun to listen to since that is right up my alley. When it’s not blasting forth with unique electro infused rockiness "Very Hot" (2), it’s bashing along with a good amount of old school rocking like in “With Magic” (6). The tracks that stand out for me are the ones where the atmosphere comes to the forefront and the sound becomes smoother and lighter, like in “Still Got Heat” (7) and “Kill the” (9). I found out that the Brooklyn artist who is largely responsible for this project, Keith Gladysz, designed all the artwork for the release as well as singing and playing various instruments. It's that kind of DIY ethic in art and sound that I have a great respect for. I highly suggest you check out this stuff. - Azltron Blog


Beautiful Blackout (Patriarch Recordings) - forthcoming
Prima Donna Remix EP (Patriarch Recordings)
Coma Motor Inn (Patriarch Recordings)
Diet Kong (self-released)



Singer/guitarist Keith Gladsyz and singer/visualist Jenn Penn left Brooklyn in 2009 for the Catskill Mountains to focus on making music, keeping bees, raising horses, chickens, ducks, dogs, cats, and farming. They bought a winery and converted it into their living and recording space, Farmlite Studio. 'Beautiful Blackout' is about their transition from city to country life.

While buying equipment for the 'Beautiful Blackout' sessions, they met drummer and owner of the Woodstock Music Shop, Jeff Harrigfeld, and have been playing as a trio ever since.

Their song 'Much Love in the Evil Sound' is currently featured in a Budweiser television campaign throughout Canada, and their track 'With Magic' is featured in the Interactive Studios video game 'PURE' (XBox 360, Playstion).

CMJ calls Diet Kong 'a unique, raw, and unpolished blend of spastic dance rock' and the Deli Magazine cites them as "a stirring musical apparition, with Arcade Fire- like appeal".