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KongStudios2004

The Phase 2 Kong Studios logo

Kong Studios was the former studio and first home of Gorillaz located on a hilltop in Essex, United Kingdom. It was in active use from 1998 to 2008.

History

Background

Before the band's ownership of Kong, the plot of land where the studio sat was burdened with a long and dark history. The hill was the site of a large Stonehenge-like structure during an unspecific prehistoric period. The origin behind the stone formation is unknown.

Before any construction, the original site was a druid's meeting point, picked especially for its unique alignment of dark energies and hideous leylines. Various members of "The Goat Clan" would gather at the site at certain points in the lunar cycle and inhale vapours, while tunelessly chanting into makeshift cauldrons.

The first Kong building was erected on the site of a disused cemetery. The cemetery was used as a body dumping ground during the Plague of 1665W. Most of the bodies were left in shallow graves and burial pits. The Khong Mansion was built in 1749 to house decadent hedonist, Sir Emerick Khong.

The last owners were a biker gang called "The Nomads" who used the building as their clubhouse. One night back in 1993, they held a massive party and invited Hell's Angels from all over the Midlands. There were 2,000 bikers crammed into the Hanger Room of Basement Number 3. When the party got out of control, a fire started and someone had locked the main doors to prevent anyone from escaping. They were all burned to a crisp.

Murdoc discovered the building in September 1998, on the Gigantic Disused Haunted Studios In The Middle Of No-Where website. The owners were looking for an off-season caretaker to look after the building during the winter. The ad said that the owners would return to the building in 6 months. When Murdoc arrived at the interview, the owners threw the keys at him and ran off down the hill screaming. Murdoc and 2-D had found their new home. Murdoc would later kidnap Russel Hobbs and bring him to Kong Studios to join his band.

Phase 1: 2001 - 2002

In Phase One, Kong Studios was able to be seen on the Gorillaz.com website with assistant MEL. Kong had several interactive characters and was mostly in good shape. There was a graveyard outside the studio and there would be Thriller dancing zombie gorillas. The main building was rather disturbing. There was always thunder/lightning outside and the place would be very creepy at night. Kong was the place where most of the promo videos were made back in Phase One.

Spacemonkeyz

While the band was away, a simian-based trio of marauders called the Spacemonkeyz got into the studio (that 2-D forgot to lock up) and stole the master tapes to the Gorillaz album and created the remix album Laika Come Home.

Celebrity Take Down

With the band on tour, fans were now introduced to the first instalment of a Gorillaz DVD out of two, Phase One: Celebrity Take Down. The DVD featured the player as a police officer who's been told to investigate the weird going on at Kong Studios. On the DVD, the player can visit most rooms in the studio as well as see the Spacemonkeyz around the lobby area. The player can also die from different causes depending on how long they would spend time in each room.

Gorillaz Tour 2002

While Gorillaz was in LA trying to make a movie, the studio fell into disrepair during the absence of the Gorillaz. The studio grounds were taped off by Essex authorities who had deployed a Portacabin as a control center. The studio itself became only accessible via a remote control robot linked to a computer in the Portacabin.

Phase 2: 2004 - 2008

Between Phase 1 and early Phase 2 (2002-2004), Kong Studios was abandoned during the Gorillaz's absence and was overwhelmed by zombies. By early 2004, Noodle returned to Kong Studios and cleansed the building of its unwanted infestation. She then renovated the studio before the band's reunion in 2005. Kong Studios re-opened on Gorillaz.com on December 8th, 2004 and premiered the music video for "Rockit".

MTV Cribs

In 2005, Kong Studios was visited by the camera crew for an episode of MTV Cribs and were shown around by Murdoc Niccals. He showed them the studio, Noodle's bedroom, the Geep from the "19-2000" video, and his Winnebago. The MTV Cribs episode aired on December 26th, 2005.

Post-El Mañana (April - October 2006)

After Noodle went missing during the "El Mañana" video shoot in 2006, Kong Studios entered a state of disrepair. Eventually, the studio was abandoned when 2-D and Russel left the band; leaving Murdoc on his terms. On October 26th, 2006, Noodle's voice was heard from a damaged radio inside the Room of Brians in the condemned Kong Studios' basement.

Slowboat To Hades

A few days later the Phase Two: Slowboat To Hades DVD was released on October 30th, 2006. It featured a more computerized version of Kong Studios and it was here that you could see Kong Studios almost destroyed, With the lobby being the most affected. But it was on the Slowboat To Hades DVD that Kong Studios changed/evolved since although the website version was partly destroyed, the Slowboat To Hades DVD showed what happened to Kong in and out.

From 2006-2008, with no members of the Gorillaz reportedly working on the website along with both Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett moving on from Gorillaz to work on their new 2007 project Monkey: Journey To The West, the website version of Kong Studios was left unattended and dormant on top of its Essex hilltop.

Pre-Plastic Beach 2008

In 2008, the studio was put up for sale on (the now defunct) realtor website, giganticdisusedhauntedstudiosinthemiddleofnohere.com. The studio was then reclaimed by its surrounding environment before it was burned to the ground by Murdoc on July 25th, 2008. Murdoc then blamed it on a group of young kids and got them thrown in jail. Cashing in on the insurance money, Murdoc fled from the wreckage, taking the helicopters from the Feel Good Inc. Music Video. He used the insurance money to build a new studio on an island made out of trash, and began production on the next Gorillaz album, naming it "Point Nemo", also known as Plastic Beach.

Legacy

2016 - 2020 ( Studio 13 / New Kong Studios )

RIP Original Kong

The commemorative sign outside of Kong Solar Studios.

After the destruction of Plastic Beach, Murdoc moved into a new home/studio known as Studio 13, where the band would reunite and record their album Humanz.

In 2017, the band created an additional mobile studio called Kong Solar Studios, built in collaboration with E.ON and powered by solar energy, named after the original Kong.

After recording Humanz and The Now Now at Studio 13, the band renamed their studio in preparation for their 2020 project Song Machine. While remaining in West London, Studio 13 was officially dubbed the new Kong Studios, acting as the band's current home and studio.

2020 - 2023 (Silver Lake Mansion)

The following year, in May of 2021 a "demonic sinkhole" opened beneath the West London Kong Studios, so while the London Sewage Department started restoring the studio, the band went on a road trip in Murdoc's Winnebago. They eventually moved into the mansion in Silver Lake in early 2022. where Murdoc would go on to found The Last Cult.

In July 2022, the band announced that they had begun recording their next album. At that time Murdoc founded The Last Cult. 2-D started recording his daily life in Silver Lake, which he eventually turned into the Stuart Potcast.

Trivia

  • According to concept art, Kong Studios was originally going to be called Navarone Studios.

Gallery

See Also

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