A marathon seven hour set courtesy of Mark Knight is the order of May’s Toolroom Knights, as the powerhouse behind this ever popular label takes over the Box all night long to celebrate the launch of his Toolroom Knights mix album. Expect a musical journey that’ll satisfy the needs of all, spanning the full spectrum of house from deep to driving, tribal to techno. Over in the Bar, providing an alternative to Mark’s compelling magic are Toolroom's 'Leaders Of The New School' with hotly tipped Italian producer EDX, Adam Shaw and Kim Fai. Boasted as ‘one of the biggest shooting stars’ in house music, EDX has gained nothing but respect and recognition. With an army of support from house legends, he has produced remixes for Armin Van Buuren, SIKK and Deadmau5- to name but a few. Smashing up dance floors worldwide, with his numerous hits including Axwell & Bob Sinclair’s ‘What a wonderful world’- the man with the magic fingers will be making his long awaited UK debut. Expect to be transported into a musical frenzy with nothing but effortless crowd pleasing for this premier performance. Adam Shaw plays the perfect prefect, keeping the crowd in line with his whirlwind sets bringing the very best of the house genre. Last but by no means least; Kim Fai will be destroying the dance floor with his ‘twisted techy bangers’ that have earned him respect from long-standing favourites such as Funkagenda. After causing a whirlwind on DJ playlists, this talented individual has the music world at his feet..
Well Hello there, Mr Mark Knight a big thank for talking with us ahead of this weeks exciting ‘Toolroom Knights’ album launch party, the night looks set to be stomping!
As we mentioned your celebrating the launch of your new mix album..…What can we look forward to for this sure to be sell-out event?? Well… A lot of extra production has been put into this one; we’ve really gone for it! A lot of extra production has gone into the club, extra lighting…We’ve got a guy on board doing VJ called Hab that has worked from everything from main stage at Glastonbury to Carl Cox. What we are trying to do is a whole Mark knight show, with the 7-hour set and the lighting, it’s a kind of (without sounding cliché) Mark Knight experience, we really want to push the whole thing across..Its going to be a good one!
Your return sees another one of your infamous set! Whats is it that makes you constantly return to the decks to power through a lengthy 7-hour set?
For me it’s what DJ-ing is about. Anyone can rock up a do a 2 hour set but you get to a certain and level people expect certain things from you. It limits your diversity whereas with a long set u can paint a musical picture- I really like playing long sets it tests u as a DJ. If you’re professional you want to be tested at what you’re giving. I definitely prefer to play 7 hours.
You seem to have no boundaries with your style with your lastest mix CD treading in to new techno water? Is this something that you’re branching into in the future?
I play Tech-House. That’s what I’m known for. I sit somewhere between the 2 (Techno and House.) When I play long sets I can start off playing House/Deep - House right up to Techno.I am not all House and I am not all Techno, if I start playing something a bit more Housey it fits, it gives me chance to do both. I would hate to only do one thing because it’s boring and limited. The new CD is all the things I like it’s a journey from deep House to Techno and everything in between!
What was your thought process when making this album, how do you decide on the way you want the cd to go?
What I try and do is put all the highlights of 7hour set in 2 mix CD’s. Both CD’s follow the same format, they both start deep going into techno. I think mix CD’s should be about a journey sucking you in - you don’t want a first track to be flat out, cause where do u go from that? It would just be a collection of records, just songs- no journey and no thought. What I try and do is take you on a journey. When you put the CD on it’s not ripping your head off by track 2 its nice and deep, gets you in the vibe and builds up, building you up with it. That was the thought process was to find a collection of records that can build and tell that story.
In the Bar, Toolroom knights brings together the Leaders of the new school in the Bar, (EDX,Adam Shaw & Kim Fai) What can we expect from these guys? The label is kind of a training ground for up and coming stars; it’s a chance for artists to get releases on a proper label with proper promotion and proper exposure. We take the best of them and then get bring them onto Toolroom Records. It’s all cutting edge new music from fresh talent, that’s what to expect in the bar! Its not just the same names, its new skool people that will attract a new crowd, also people can buy into them now and be part of the process of when these guys become hopefully superstars. What do you think it is that shot these guys to success? With the digital revolution you can be a star overnight. Back in the day it was a very big process with a lot more involved to make a name for yourself. With Beatport, you have 1or 2 hits on there and your instantly in the game. The thing with these guys is that they have consistent output that has done really well and got them in the game. These guys are new ‘skool’ who have got a lot of music out now which is very much part of the digital revolution. They are exactly what we want as part of our label, growing superstars.
Talking of superstars going back to you and Toolroom Knights which is going from strength to strength how do you keep your feet firmly on the ground?
It has a very down to earth set-up. We would never let it run away from ourselves, it’s all very laidback and also it is a family business. There are no superstar attitudes; it is all very chilled out. The people keep it very level headed.
It’s become a global success, what do you perceive for the future of Toolroom Knights/ Records?
With Toolroom Records, we are going to keep pushing, doing what have been doing -pushing the boundaries and becoming more of a lifestyle brand as with Toolroom Knights. We got some bigger acts signed to the label now, with tracks from faithless and their new album. Hopefully a new track from David Guetta, we want to push to be as bigger independent record label as we possibly can.
You’re travelling constantly on tour with Toolroom are there any home comforts that you have to diva demand or take with you?
No not really…With phones and laptops you’re never a million miles from home, I am always able to go on the internet or ichat so you’re almost as good as being at home. I try to get home as much as I possibly can, I like being at home. There’s no Diva demands as there’s no diva in me!
When your producing what is it that influences or inspires you?
Different situations, you hear things in clubs that inspire you. Listening to all styles of music- that’s very important to have a broad musical taste because then you can draw influences from all sort of things. Also, keeping an eye out for new talent with new productions techniques. All the time your brains working on overtime, I write things down and then go back to the studio and try and put it into a song.
What other DJ/producers are doing it for you right now?
Mark Mendes is doing some cool stuff. It’s a tough one…Kim Fai, lots of different people. I take influence from the many things. I like lots of different styles. Jimpster does lot of deep house stuff that I like, there are lots of people not just one person.
This summer looks set to be a busy one for you…with you playing at a number of festivals including two in one day!! What festival do you most look forward too?
I am really looking forward to doing that one day! Im actually playing three in one day!!! I’m playing Sw4 then getting the jet to Amsterdam for another festival then jetting it back to Liverpool for Creamfields. Playing two countries in one day is going to be cool!
What other plans have you got for 2009?
Just released a new tune with Karl Hyde from Underworld, it’s the first time he has worked with anyone outside of Underworld, so that pretty special. I have also sampled ‘Chic’ with Funkagenda which has had loads of hype so should do pretty well. I’ve also done a new track with Martin Ten Velden so…lots of music and pushing Toolroom Records. I’m looking forward to the takeover parties in Ibiza and my residency in LA and New York is going really well.
You’ve worked with some big names and played some of the coolest places…What stands out as one of your proudest or favourite moments? I’m working on a project with D Ramirez, were are trying to work with people that haven’t work outside the realms of what they’ve done, really interesting people. Got a lot of things pending which I don’t want to say to much about..Watch this space!
Have you got any bad experiences working with anyone (we wont name them!) or any from previous gigs?
No nothing that stands out, it’s not all plain sailing but alike anything there has been a few down times.
Lastly, with the summer ahead (extremely busy one for you!) If you could be on a beach anywhere in the world right now where would it be?
Dubai, if you want to go anywhere and do nothing and be looked after Dubai is perfect is for that!! You cannot beat the service.