The Knights, Stuart and Mark, are knights in shining armour to the house scene. Their label Toolroom has championed the charts and impressed industry folk all around the globe.
Mark Knights productions are renowned for their tight production and big drops mixed with euphoric arms in the air moments. He has been hailed and praised by many and frequents the airwaves and DJ boxes of the best house DJs around. To celebrate his latest release, Insatiable, Jess from Trackitdown went to catch up with Mark to get the low down on life at Knight HQ aka Toolroom Records, what he does to relax and his plans to cool down on the remixes.
Jess: You just got back from a tour in Australia & South East Asia. Did you enjoy the experience?
Mark: I always loving playing in Australia its a great place. This year I did Nye at wicked party in Sydney harbour then on to Sydneys best club kink on new years day. The rest of the tour was a good combination of massive festivals and underground after clubs so it tested me at both levels of my DJing spectrum. Stopping of to do arguably Australias best club one love in Sydney. Then it was over to Asia to play at the world famous Zouk in Singapore followed by my first appearance at Astra in Bangkok. Lastly it was a stop of at one of my favourite clubs in the world geko in Koi Samui for a party on the beach with Clive Henry, Gary Geko and Lisa Loud. Which went on until 2pm the next day. If you are ever in Thailand check geko amazing
Jess: Youre praised for your intense sets as a resident at the Ministry and in clubs worldwide. Whats the secret recipe for your finely distilled sets?
Mark: Knowing your records and knowing how to intertwine you musical direction between styles so you can tell a musical story throughout the night. Building a set is very similar to making a record it has to be a journey with peaks and troughs at the right times. It helps being a producer so you can apply this knowledge to you DJ sets. It really isnt a case of just putting records on.
Jess: In 2004 you founded your own label, Toolroom records, with your brother Stuart. The label has gone from strength to strength and was even quoted Label of the moment by Radio 1. Are you happy with the direction the label is taking?
Mark: For sure, the label has far surpassed our initial expectations over such a short period, with nominations for best breakthrough label and then best label in respective years at the house music awards. We set up to be the best independent label in the world using labels such as defected as a benchmark. We have managed to create our on sound synonymous to Toolroom. We have long way to go but this year will se us move hastily in that direction with some amazing records to come. Stay in touch with www.toolroomrecords.com for all the latest info.
Jess: Do you run the label as a family business with your brother Stuart?
Mark: We sure do with my father at the helm over seeing the business strategy Stuart , Owen and Pete looking after the mechanics of label and me the music, it seems to be a winning combination. Everyone has a roll and responsibility that is akin to their ability. Plus we are family so there is no tighter bond.
Jess: How did you came up with the labels name, Toolroom records?
Mark: The studio was an old tool shed which I converted hence Toolroom Records. It seemed different so we stuck with it.
Jess: Your new track on Toolroom is called Insatiable, featuring vocals by Katherine Ellis. Can you tell us more about that new track and the inspiration behind this production?
Mark: I am inspired every time I DJ and every time I listen to music. I draw inspiration from all types of music. I think it is good to be open minded in music other wise it can be only too easy to keep rehashing the same idea. Insatiable came basically from a bass line I wrote I doubled it with lots of different sounds and the same line seemed to work on each instrument. So I gave a basic groove to Katherine and she came up with the song. She said the groove was insatiable. So the working title stuck and she wrote round that. The track is out in February on Toolroom with a great mix package with mixes from Joey Negro, Buick project, MK &MTV, Kami, Funkagenda and mync.
Jess: You also released tracks with Nic Fanciulli and Martijn ten Velden, as K & M with Kevin Brooks, and under other aliases as well; Mindprint, Sentivo, Tracer, Unit 7, to name but a few. How would you describe the Mark Knight sound?
Mark: Tracks with moments I like to make records that go off!! Big drops and euphoric moments that retain their credibility. I also like to try something new on every track but still retaining that sound. Where I try to span the gap between tribal, electro, prog and house. But all with a funk.
Jess: What are your plans for future releases and remixes?
Mark: This year I am cutting back on remixes over the last two years I have done 48. Enough is enough!! It drains my creativity. This year I am concentrating heavily on productions, and starting work on my first artist album.
Jess: Your releases are eagerly awaited now. Is there some pressure building up with your tracks being aired on Radio 1?
Mark: There is a certain amount of pressure every time you go back in the studio but that is what I thrive off. You are only as good as you last record I believe. This pushes you to be the best you can be.
Jess: What is your favourite way to chill out after a steamy night nudging the decks?
Mark: Either chilling with my girlfriend or watching football with my mates. I am a big fan of the gym and I try to go as often as possible I find this a great way to unwind and escape.