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Mark Knight

Mark KnightAs a record label boss, renowned house producer and a father, Mark Knight has a lot on his plate. TOM KITSON spoke to the laidback Englishman about what the future holds after a decade in the business and in prelude to a Toolroom Knights session at The Deen on Saturday, January 25.

Performing across multiple continents in the space of eight days is all part of the holiday season for Toolroom Records founder Mark Knight, and despite being a dance music veteran, he’s always excited by the next challenge.

“Doing so many shows in such a short period gives you a great opportunity to test new music,” he explains. “You can play something out and then keep tweaking it and within a week, you’ve really refined it.”

2014 marks a decade of Toolroom Records being a vehicle for some of the world’s best house and electro producers, as well as its associated club night running on dance floors from Miami to Ibiza and well, this week, Perth.

The label’s key focus, despite a star-studded roster including Benny Benassi, Fedde le Grand and Wolfgang Gartner, is to seek out new talent and continue pushing the EDM envelope.

“I think you really need to be passionate about your music,” he says. “It’s not something transparent or soulless that I do just to make money, I’ve tried to stay true to what I feel is right. The key thing about making music is having a great idea as it’s such a blank canvas.”

Following the explosion of popular dance music in the US, Knight believes there is potential to be tapped into despite such a large volume of commercially targeted releases.

“Some music coming out in the EDM scene is not brilliant, but it is attracting a new generation of fans and producers,” he says. “Some producers are targeting the lowest common denominator and making really cliché music which is a shame, but hopefully people getting into it can dig further and gravitate towards something a little more sophisticated.”

Producing pop music and ghost writing is another exploit Knight takes on, as well as churning out remixes like his latest bouncy house re-work of Chris Malinchak’s If U Got It, and maintaining a tight tour schedule.

“I think just getting on your computer and always writing the same thing gets a bit stale and affects your production, so it’s good to try different exercises and test yourself across different areas.”

Working with Ministry Of Sound has been a significant career move with Knight’s tune Party Animal featuring on The Annual compilation and Knight himself playing sets at the renowned venue in London.

“The Ministry Of Sound Club is just up the road from where I live,” he says. “I was listening to hip hop in the early ‘90s and not giving dance music a chance, but then I went to Ministry Of Sound, was just seduced by it and have tried to stay true to that feeling since.”

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