Fort Knox Five - School Of Hard Knox
Remixing everyone from A Skillz to Mo’Horizons to Louis Armstrong and Bob Marley, it’s time Washington DC funk act Fort Knox Five released a debut album. 3D’s Carlisle Rogers spoke with Jon Horvath, heading to OZ for a series of DJ sets.
Fort Knox Five has been culling the funk that’s floating in the air around Washington for over five years now, distilling all of that potential into shimmering floor-fillers that blend old school sentiment with modern technology perfectly. Their debut album, Radio Free DC, is something else again – a disparate menagerie of musical animals travelling together in the Fort Knox Five circus, dancing together under the bright lights when nobody is looking.
“We’ve been really strategic about how we were going to launch Fort Knox Five,” says one quarter of the troupe and the man who will be heading down to Australia this summer with his record bag, Jon Horvath. “We decided to release a bunch of singles first. Then, once we had dropped all the singles, we started picking out people we really liked, A Skillz and Krafty Kuts for instance, and getting in touch. We spent two years doing remixes. We launched everything in 2003 and we’ve been doing singles and remixes and we started focusing on the album and it was a little bit strange for us. We had all these songs that were essential Fort Knox Five songs like Brazilian Hipster that we thought should be on the album.
Jon says that Australia is a kind of launching pad every year as well, for new and newly edited Fort Knox Five tunes. “A lot of the bootlegs and mash-up tunes that we’ve done that people might hear, we usually do them for the Australian tour. We did a whole round of crazy mash-ups and things last year only for Good Vibrations. That was the whole point, to do those tunes for GV, to make a barely exclusive set. And I think that’s going to be the idea for NYE as well. We’ve been working on it quite heavily. What better time to debut a bunch of fresh tunes that nobody has heard before, or at least fresh versions, than New Year’s- I don’t want to call it ‘just DJing’ because there’s a lot that goes into it, but essentially it’s a DJ set where we try to have as much of our own stuff as possible.
“Basically, we really wanted to try to do a live show this time with everyone in the band coming out, but my partner Rob is the sitar / guitar player for Thievery Corporation and they have an album that’s just come out, [so he] is going to be playing in San Francisco on New Year’s with Thievery Corporation. It is so expensive to bring the whole posse to do it live. Maybe we have to let this album simmer for a minute and it’ll be something that will be realistic in the future.”
WHO: Fort Knox Five
WHAT: Play Field Day at The Domain
WHEN: Thursday 1 January