#46 - "Movement 2013 special": D-Knox
After Quinoline Yellow’s off-kilter journey for the EPM Podcast series we now head back to the heart of the dancefloor as Sonic Mind’s D. Knox turns up the heat ahead of this weekend’s Detroit Movement Festival. With a mix that blends the old and new we find Green Velvet, Octave One, Ruskin Broom, Ben Sims, Jeff Mills, Robert Hood, Blake Baxter and Psycatron nestling next to Audio Injection, Smalltown Collective, Tony Kasper, Tim Wolff, Aeshi Takeshi and Roman Zawodny whilst Donnell Knox also treats us to a healthy dose of his own productions.
As founder, owner and the driving force behind Sonic-Mind Records, D. Knox is an integral member of the Kalamazoo techno scene. His passion for funk-laden, hard-hitting techno is apparent in his many releases since his entrance into the electronic music scene. D. Knox has gathered a following for his music both overseas and in the United States. This acclaim has taken him to countries such as Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, UK, Poland, Japan, Singapore, Czech Republic, France and all throughout North America and Canada. As an active DJ and producer since the late 80s D. Knox has followed his passion for funk-laden electronic music. Since his debut on fellow Kalamazoo label, Black Nation records his music his since gone on to grace labels like Magic Trax, Elypsia, Morbid and many more.
Donnell established Sonic Mind Records in 1994. It has gone on to feature some of his classic releases as well as those by the likes of Spiritman, Last Generation, Jay Denham, Fanon Flowers, Aaron Bennet, Jeremy Phillips, Mike Dreben and Archetype. Now residing in Warsaw (Poland), Donnell’s sound continues to develop, with a recent resurgence that sees two new EPs and a compilation ‘Cosmic Computer’ ready to drop on Sonic Mind.
EPM Podcast 46 – D. Knox: tracklist
1. D. Knox feat. Science Fiction All Stars - Night in Warsaw
2. D. Knox - Makeyobodymove (Sonic-Mind)
3. D .Knox - The Innerworld EP (Sonic-Mind)
4. D. Knox - The Innerworld EP (Sonic-Mind)
5. Robert Hood - Pitch Black (Original Mix)
6. Aeshi Takeshi - White Stuff (Original Mix)
7. Donnell Knox - Finding My Way
8. Beroshima - Cosmic Flight (Frank Mueller Mix)
9. Audio Injection - Deep Thought
10. Tony Kasper - Drama Revisited
11. Octave One - New Life (Original Instrumental mix)
12. Jeff Mills - Condor to Mallorca
13. Smalltown Collective - Tiefblau (Original Mix)
14. Green Velvet - La La Land (Pleasurekraft Sideshow Remix)
15. Blake Baxter Psycatron - She Is Music (Original Mix)
16. Donnell Knox - Be Mindful
17. Roman Zawodny - Vice (Sonic-Mind)
18. Ben Sims - The Parade (Original Mix)
19. Floorplan - Wall To Wall (Original Mix)
20. Tim Wolff - Quotum (Ben Sims Remix)
21. Ruskin Broom - Bites
22. Tony Rohr Tim Xavier - ACB Experiment (Gary Beck Remix)
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Q&A with D. Knox
1. Please give us a quick run through the mix. What inspired you to choose these tracks?
I wanted to blend some old with some new and make a mix that I could listen to in my car and when I ride my bike.
2. Alongside artists like Jay Denham and Fanon Flowers you famously took the sound of Kalamazoo to the world. Being the halfway point between Chicago and Detroit did that mean you had the best of both worlds?
Yes most certainly being in the middle of those cities offered nothing but the best. I visited both cities often being that I had a lot of family living in both cities, so a lot of time was spent at the record stores.
3. You now reside in Warsaw, Poland. How does life compare there to your formative days in the US?
My life in Warsaw hmm lets see I am extremely busy now but I always find time to chill. Life in Kalamazoo was simpler it seemed like I always had time to chill, and enjoy great backyard BBQ with family and friends.
4. By my calculations, Sonic Mind will be 20 years old next year. Do you have any plans to celebrate this milestone?
I am currently looking for some unique locations in Warsaw to celebrate and there will be an album on vinyl to come out shortly after the party.
5. Picasso famously once said that ‘inspiration has to catch you working’. Basically having a great idea when you are not working is soon out of your head. For you how much of studio time is ‘perspiration’ as opposed to ‘inspiration’?
I would say that I am more inspired than working hard in the studio. I don't work hard at all in the studio, when I feel like doing something I just turn on the gear and start making beats. Then I let the energy take me where it needs to go for that moment.
6. How has being slap bang between the house and techno metropolis cities of Chicago and Detroit informed you as a DJ? Were there any regular clubs / DJs you used to travel and see?
Well back in the day I went to many underground house events in Chicago, and many underground techno events in Detroit. I have to admit I used to really enjoy Bileebob and Paris the Black Fu. I had to see them as I was amazed by the talent and the show.
7. If you could curate your own Movement Festival stage, what would your dream line up be?
Hmm I could not fit all of the names on here for sure there are so many people that I would love to see and it's not all techno. Two people I would like to see live would be DJ Cash Money and DJ Jazzy Jeff. But just to name a few (Mike Banks, Green Velvet, A Guy Called Gerald, Carl Cox. I will leave it there for the time being cause like I mentioned before my list is long and strong.
8. How do you occupy your time outside of music?
Spending quality time with family and friends. Training Krav Maga and Jeet Kun Do, reading meditation books and cooking. I love to invite people over and create new dishes, and teaching English to children.
9. Which new producers or DJs have recently caught your eye?
Kuba Sojka from Poland. The man has got the heat.
10. Please give us your current ‘Movement’ Top 10:
1. Donnell Knox - Stay Positive
2. Donnell Knox - Solitude
3. Donnell Knox - Mirror Relationship
4. Jonas Kopp - Mountak
5. Rolando - Jaguar (Dance of the Global Tribe Mix)
6. Rolando - D&N
7. Myles Serge - Perpetual Motion
8. Detroit Grand Pubahs - Acid Dreams
9. Robert Hood - Drive (Age of Automation) Phase c-boy Mix
10. Audio injection - No Key Droid