Playlist of the Week: Mark Knight
Playlist of the Week: Mark KnightMay 6, 2021
House music heavyweight and Toolroom Records boss Mark Knight puts together a playlist of uplifting and therapeutic dance floor tracks for the Summer.
This playlist reflects some of the things I love most about not just house music, but music across the board, from a range of different styles. I haven’t stuck to one genre or theme, as one of the things I’ve really been enjoying recently both in terms of production and DJ sets is being able to take influences from a range of sources and bring them together into a single coherent recording or set.
Sometimes what gets my attention is a simple but really effective groove, at others, it will be a vocal or melody, and sometimes just a crazy bit of drum programming. Then there are tracks which take me back and give me that same feeling I had when I first started listening to house music: tracks that are so incredibly well produced you almost have to stop and take a moment to think about what you’ve just heard.
“House is a feeling” as they say – and every single one of these records makes me feel something – whether it was released this year or it’s something I’ve listened to for decades.
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Mark Knight & Beverley Knight (feat The London Community Gospel Choir) – Everything’s Gonna Be Alright [Toolroom]
This is the lead track from my upcoming album Untold Business and definitely reflects the approach I’ve taken with the rest of the tracks. I wanted to write a song of hope as we come out of this incredibly tough time. I feel that musicians and producers have a responsibility to provide the soundtrack to people’s lives, and with this glimmer of hope on the horizon, I wanted this song to be a moment of positivity for the future ahead.
Ten City – Be Free (Emmaculate & Shannon Chambers Extended Mix [Ultra]
By far my favourite record of the year so far – head and shoulders above everyone else. It had as much impact on me as when I heard Ten City for the very first time decades ago. Ten City sits somewhere between house music and a proper live band. They were the group that properly got me into house music and this feels like they’ve just picked up exactly where they’ve left off, the transition is seamless from the album foundation in ‘88 to now in 2021 — absolute class.
KC Lights – Cold Light (Club Edit) [Toolroom]
It’s incredibly hard to remix your own record, to look at it objectively and approach it in a new way, so I’m in awe of what he’s done with this version. It’s so clever, super housey, and I have so much respect for him for pulling this off. Both versions are equally good, which is not easy at all.
DJ Spen & Gary Hudgins – Sumthin Something (feat Brandon Yancey) [Quantize]
This is one of the iconic records from Maxwell’s legendary album Urban Hang Suite, which now celebrates its 25th anniversary, so if you’re going to cover it you really need to come correct and that’s exactly what Spen has done. Taken a neo-soul classic and re-imagined it into a brilliant garage record. For me, this is the stand-out track from Spen’s album Soulful Storm.
Blaze – Live The Happy Life (Klubhead Vocal Mix) [Blaze Imprints]
I’ve just started listening to this a lot again, perhaps because of the sentiment in the record. One of my all-time favourites and definitely one that’s appropriate for right now.
Saliva Commandos – Make Me Shine [Too Many Rules]
I’m falling more and more in love with this guy’s productions every time I hear them. His grooves are on another level, and on this particular record, he’s sampled “Just A Touch of Love” by Slave. This was the record I was most looking forward to playing this weekend in Sofia and it didn’t fail. Tribal Steve Arrington completely destroyed the dancefloor – take a bow Saliva.
The Vision, Andreya Triana, Ben Westbeecch – Missing (The Maurice Fulton Extended Mix) [Defected]
I’ve spent a lot of time working with Andreya for my latest album, and this is one of her finest hours. The Maurice Fulton remix is 100 BPM house music at its finest, absolute class.
James Hurr – She Knows What’s She’s Doin’ [Toolroom Trax]
My long-term production partner James is really coming into his own at the moment, and I think this is just such a clever, original well-produced piece of tech house. He’s got some amazing records coming up this year and I’m predicting big things for him. If I was a betting man I would be putting my money on James in 2021
John Roberts – Freaks (Harry Romero Remix) [X-Bop]
Just an incredible piece of percussive programming. Harry is renowned for this style of tribal house and I love it when he goes down this road musically – I don’t think there’s anyone in the world that does it better than Columbia’s finest Harry Romero.