Fort Knox Five is known for bending genres and using a broad range of musical elements in their creation of highly original music. The FK5 sound has become irresistible to club goers worldwide, rocking parties with infectious grooves that effortlessly move from funk, bass, and hip hop to prime time house and breaks.
Bass Coast caught up with founding member and principal DJ Steve Raskin to reflect on the highlights of two decades of funk.
Over the 20 year span of your career, Fort Knox Five established a worldwide following and toured alongside popular artists Gwen Stefani, Thievery Corporation, and the Black Eyed Peas. Can you tell us about a favourite Fort Knox Five performance that stands out in your memory?
It's crazy to think Fort Knox Five has been making music and touring for two decades now! We have definitely gotten to play some amazing stages from Coachella to Red Rocks.
Hands down the strangest/coolest place we ever played was on the rooftop of a skyscraper in Bangkok. JonH and I played a “green carpet” party (the entire roof was covered in astro turf) and were treated like rock stars - did an interview with Thai MTV and then played on a stage that had no back wall close to the edge. We were over 70 stories up, with taller buildings looking down on us, playing a hands-in-the-air funk party. I remember it was a crazy sensation of feeling like you were falling during the entire set!
You've worked with artists like Afrika Bambaataa, A.Skillz, Krafty Kuts, QDup, Lazy Syrup Orchestra and more. How has the experience of collaborating with such a broad range of artists influenced your creative process and the evolution of the FK5 sound?
From the beginning Fort Knox Five was all about collaboration - in fact, we had named the group with that in mind as there were four of us and we always wanted the project to incorporate outside voices and elements (Plus it sounded better as Fort Knox 5 and not Fort Knox 4). To this day it’s really at the core of what we do, creating funky music that crosses genres and pushes boundaries. It allows us to incorporate vocals from rock to reggae and explore tempos and genres with artists in and out of our scene. Some of the most creative music for us has come from this juxtaposition of salty and sweet and It’s the excitement that you get from making music that you didn’t set out to make that continues to keep our music evolving.
To celebrate our 20th anniversary, we have compiled the best of the last 10 years on a set of new compilations. Another Decade of Funk and Another Decade of Funk Remixed feature collabs and remixes with our good friends and family including, K+Lab, Slynk, The Funk Hunters, Stickybuds, The Sponges, Pineo & Loeb, Skiitour and so many more. It truly is an honor to have some of the best in the business rework our songs - you will definitely hear some in my 2023 Bass Coast Mix when they were my secret exclusive dance floor bombs!
You are a Bass Coast Festival veteran. What are your tips for someone who is going to the event for the first time?
Here's two for you..
Explore new music - Take advantage that the stages are set up fairly close together which means you can peel off to check out some music and artists you might not otherwise see. I guarantee you will make it back to your friends you ditched for this adventure (or make some new ones).
Take some time and get lost in the art. Bass Coast is one of those very few festivals where getting from stage to stage is part of the journey and the art installations and interactive sculptures really make it special.