DEM - Augmented Reality with Traces app
DEM - Warwick Corvette bass
DEM - Source Audio Hot Hand
DEM - Augmented Reality with Traces app
DEM - Effects pedals
DEM - Augmented Reality with Traces app
DEM - Augmented Reality with Traces app

DEM are a groundbreaking duo and we are excited to premiere the cartoon video for their first release ‘The Axe’, a protest against cuts to the National Health Service in the UK. DEM create stripped-back ear-worm songs with bass heavy grooves and punk, reggae, and pop influences. They have also released their track in Augmented Reality using the Traces app. DEM are Ava Butcher - Bass, Vocals, FX, and Jaq Jones - Drums, Vocals, FX.


DEM - The Axe

Powerful debut

The Axe is DEM’s powerful debut, clearly staking out their territory making cutting and cutting edge protest music. The song is deceptively simple, a story of someone trying to get to see their doctor, and finding an NHS in trouble as the Axeman is coming.

The track wedges itself in your brain thanks to the bass groove and catchy chorus. The duo’s stripped down sound revolves around bass, a drum kit and some effects pedals.

At the core of the video are custom Emoji, illustrated by London’s Yuko Sugimoto AKA Ucotopia.

We had to make our own Emoji, we call them DEMoji. We even got some London street animals, rat, grey squirrel and mono legged pigeon.

The video includes stick figure versions of politicians David Cameron, Boris Johnson, Theresa May and Jeremy Hunt, with Hunt being the Axeman.

It also references stories in the papers about an overworked NHS, the closures of GP surgeries and A&E depts, and the growing concern that the UK is moving towards a USA style private medical care system.

We’re not really political but we can’t just sit and watch. We want to bring people together. We are a people, we are DEM.

DEM’s Augmented Reality Release.

DEM also ventured into Augmented Reality for their release, taking inspiration from Banksy whose political art works are placed on location.

They collaborated with Traces - it’s a top-rated app that lets people leave and find digital content using geolocation and Augmented Reality (AR).

It enabled DEM to place ‘The Axe’ in its creative context. DEM Traces or DEMbubbles (as DEM call them) float in mid air, once ‘popped’ they reveal the Bandcamp download link for the tune.

They launched the AR version of ‘The Axe’ along the route of the #ourNHS demonstration that saw 250,000 people protest in central London in March.

What better place to put a song about anti NHS cuts/privatisation than at the biggest anti NHS cuts/privatisation demo this year. It felt empowering as an artist to be able to say to people as we were marching, ‘look, this is a song we made about NHS cuts, it’s here for others to find today and in the future.’

DEM - Augmented Reality with Traces app

People loved what they saw and wanted leave their voices as well so a trail of Traces were added to the route documenting the demonstration. Anyone with the Traces app can find and pop these bubbles.

DEMbubbles containing ‘The Axe’ are also found floating at London hospitals several of which reveal additional personal stories spoken by DEM, and people are invited to leave their own voice of gratitude and support for the NHS.

This immersive experience allows the audience to engage in a fun and innovative way. It also allows people to become part of the Art rather than simply consuming the music. And this is an important subject, so the project champions the People’s voice.

DEM - Augmented Reality with Traces app

How to join DEM in AR & get ‘The Axe’

  1. Download Traces (Android & iOS)
  2. Find the DEM featured map (crown icon) and add to favourites
  3. Search the DEM map for DEMbubbles near you
  4. findDEM #popDEM