Five Tracks: Mark Knight

Any self respecting house fan will be well aware of Mark Knight’s career achievements, which include founding one of the genre’s most successful imprints in Toolroom, being nominated for a Grammy, and touring every corner of the globe as one of the worlds most in demand DJs.

This month the British selector will release his new studio album, Untold Business, which leans heavily into the realm of vocal house, and brings a nostalgic experience that pays tribute to the early sounds of dance music, which guided him through the early stages of his career.

Taking the reigns of this months edition on our Five Tracks series’ Knight highlights a few old school gems from names like Ten City, Grandmaster Flash, 24 Hour Experience, and more. Get the full list, including words from Mark himself, below.

Sounds of Blackness – Optimistic
Label: The Evolution Of Gospel

Seminal classic that crossed over from its gospel roots to find mainstream success. The message in this music is so inspirational and a huge inspiration for It’s Gonna Be Alright, and a lot of the album to be honest. I wanted to try and emulate that feeling of positivity and hope that this record has in spades. It’s just impossible to feel down when listening to this.

24 Hour Experience – Together
Label: Nice ‘N’ Ripe

One of those records that if you switched on pirate radio and listened for more than about 10 minutes, you’re pretty much guaranteed to hear. You could listen to this every day and never grow tired of it. Released on Grant Nelson’s legendary Nice N Ripe label, this sums up the sound of the mid 90s for me.

Ten City – Right Back To You
Label: Atlantic

This is one of the very first house records that really struck a chord with me. I totally got it as it was so clearly rooted in the soul music that I was obsessed with at the time. So much of what I’ve done as a producer goes back to Marshall Jefferson and Ten City, and this is one of my favourite records of all time.

Change – Change of Heart
Label: Atlantic

Change couldn’t put a foot wrong in the 80s – everything they did was just incredible. It’s hard to pick just one record of theirs, but this one just about edges it. Even in the late 80s/early 90s they were being sampled and remade by house producers, and that still continues to this day. This is the second record on this list that was produced by Jam & Lewis after Sounds of Blackness, and I think I could honestly do a top 5 based just on their productions. They just have this knack of making records sound absolutely enormous!

Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five – The Message
Label: Sugar Hill

Probably the best hip hop record ever made. Hip hop in 80s had meaning and told stories, whether they were funny, sad, serious or lighthearted – it meant something, and had depth. I wanted something on the new album that reflected this, which is why we spent so long getting the lyrics of Untold Business right. If I could only listen to one hip hop record for the rest of my life, this would be it.

Mark Knight’s Untold Business LP arrives June 25th on Toolroom Records.