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Mark Knight
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When Mark Knight describes 2010 as a "year of two halves", he's not being disingenuous or just stating the obvious. The Toolroom boss says that he spent the first six months ensconced in the studio and the second half touring heavily.
"I managed to stockpile tracks that would afford me the opportunity to go all out with shows and touring throughout the summer and still maintain a consistent level of musical output. The back-end of the year will see me focus very much on my first artist album and continue with the hectic tour schedule," he explains.
From his adventures on the road, Knight feels that the next step for many DJs is their encroachment into the 'live' arena. "DJs have really upped the game, developing their shows into more of a live concept complete with big lighting, effects, decor. They have moved out of the realm of just doing night clubs and are now selling out live venues."
Mark's labels have had good years - "our biggest and best to date" - and even enjoyed modest chart success with their 200th release, 'Bright Lights' by DJ Die. This release wasn't Knight's only brush with pop music this year: the UK DJ picked up a Grammy nomination for his production work on the Black Eyed Peas album 'The E.N.D', produced a track for Faithless' new album and, in collaboration with D.Ramirez, produced tracks for Underworld's 'Barking'.
But Knight remains rooted in DJ culture and has big plans for Toolroom over the coming months, including a collaboration between himself and Tiësto. "We hooked up to write a monster, which I've been road testing throughout the summer," he says. "Also, look out for releases from Toolroom Knights heavy hitters Michael Woods, D.Ramirez and EDX. There's also loads of underground gems on the horizon from Gabriella Rocha, Uner and Loko."