You’ve certainly got to hand it to Fort Knox Five. Not just musicians, not just DJs, these guys actually run their own label and are consistently dropping vinyl right along with any digital output. We shot some questions over to FK5’s Jon Horvath and in honor of our second birthday today, we’ve got the entire interview below along with some seriously select tracks:
How important is Vinyl to Fort Knox Five and Fort Knox Recordings?
Vinyl is very important to Fort Knox Five and Fort Knox Recordings. We founded the label on vinyl. It supported our label's growth. In the last couple of years, we have started focusing on digital releases, but still releasing everything on vinyl. The great thing about digital music, is it does not cost anything to release. Making records is very expensive. To keep our label in the vinyl business, we recently signed a P&D deal with Groove Distribution for our vinyl releases.
Do you still play vinyl records?
Generally for dj gigs, we use Rane/Serato Scratch. It is excellent for live shows. You have an unlimited crate. That helps with being able to rock any situation. It still has sound quality flaws, but for the most part, it works very well. Although, nothing sounds quite like vinyl.
Does vinyl have any advantages over digital music?
In the old days, vinyl had many more advantages. It was much harder to bootleg a vinyl record. Vinyl only releases are also more limited than digital music. Some tunes only exist on vinyl. At least until someone rips them. The main advantage of vinyl is its warm sound quality. Digital music can never emulate that warmth.
As a DJ, what do you prefer and why?
In the old days, we were strictly vinyl djs. We did play some exclusives off of cd, but generally it was all vinyl. Nowadays, we use Rane/Serato Scratch to perform. It is amazing. It eliminates the need for carrying lots of records for gigs. It feels great for our backs, but also it is nice to keep the records in mint condition. We used to go through numerous copies of a big record. Now you can make a digital copy, and then the vinyl stays mint. We like that. It is really nice to play exclusives, and our new tracks like their records.
You recently released a remix as a 7" vinyl single to celebrate 60 years of the 7 inch record, how did that come about?
We released FKX018 - Radio Free DC Remixed Vol 5 in celebration of the 60 year anniversary of the 7 inch Record. It features remixes by Ali B of Air Recordings & Fabric, and Boca 45 of Dynamo Productions. A lot of our friends were throwing parties to celebrate its 60 year Bday. We decided what better way to honor its Bday than to have a 7 inch release. The remixes are serious future funk!!
What vinyl have you released recently and will release soon?
There are always tons of releases in the pipeline. We are in the process of releasing the Radio Free DC Remixed Vol 1-10, as well as a double gatefold 2x12" release of the Radio Free DC Album. We have gotten about 8 releases into the RFDC Remixed Series. They are all being distributed by Groove Distribution in Chicago. We also have some new artists on the label, that will be featuring vinyl releases. We are in the process of manufacturing the first Nappy Riddem's record called Nappy Riddem, featuring remixes by All Good Funk Alliance, and QDUP Foundation. Nappy Riddem is a collaboration of Rex Riddem, Mustafa Akbar, and Hash Vyas. A new See-I 7" release of "How Could You" will follow that. This will include a Rodney Hunter Remix. We also just completed 4 new Fort Knox Five songs for The New Gold Standard Vol 2. This will be released in October, and feature lots of VINYL!!!!
Fort Knox Five - Killa Soundboy (Sub Swara Remix) (Mp3)
Fort Knox Five - Uptown Tricks (Shimon's Trix Radio Mix) (Mp3)
Fort Knox Five - Not Gonna Take It (Rob Paine Remix) (Mp3)