By: Mica D'Alesandro
Fort Knox Five emerged out from the nation's capital with a bang a decade ago this year. Promoting the sounds of its "funk n soul" vibe, no band represents this country better; a melting pot of Latin grooves, electro funk, reggae, soul, punk, and hip-hop.
Its four members include Steve Raskin, originally part of Edsel and Raskal as well as ESL Music recording artists Thunderball and Liftoff with Sid Barcelona. Rob Myers plays sitar and guitar with Thievery Corporation and International Velvet and also plays guitar in See-I. Jon Horvath is an accomplished producer and performer, as well as a co-conspirator of DJ Dan's. The band reserves the fifth slot for collaborators like Zeebo from Thievery, Rootz, King Kamonzi and Afrika Bambaataa from the Zulu Nation, Mustafa Akbar, Sleepy Wonder, and rapper Asheru, of Unspoken Heard and Boondocks-theme fame.
This all-American band came together while working on different labels and separate projects, but Fort Knox Five streamlined all their various influences. The formation also resulted in the establishment of Fort Knox Recordings, the band's personal record label in 2003. The label produces artists such as All Good Funk Alliance, Empresarios, Speedy Consuela, Nappy Riddem, See-I, International Velvet and Liftoff, all of whom are D.C. natives.
In 2006, Fort Knox Five released the compilation album, The New Gold Standard, to showcase the distinct artists and sounds of its label. Fort Knox Reminted was released in 2008 and is composed of remixes done for other artists and projects from other labels. That same year Radio Free D.C. came out; the debut Fort Knox Five albumof originals. Over the years, they stockpiled golden tunes from across the spectrum. They have dozens of remixes to their credit, including Deekline & Wizard, A. Skillz, Louis Armstrong, and Bob Marley.
As DJs, they know how to get a crowd grooving with funk, reggae, hip-hop all the way to break beats. Their unique style has caught on with clubgoers worldwide, performing on five continents and in over 30 countries. The Fort Knox Five have spun at some of the most prestigious venues such as Fabric in London, Madison Square Gardens, the Hollywood Bowl, and La Paloma in Barcelona just to name a few. Fort Knox Five tour as DJs as well as a live band, and are staples of the festival circuit.
Fort Knox Five has a real gift and likes to show their diversity stemming from roots in Washington, D.C. Their latest album, 10 Years of Fort Knox Five, is a collection of fifteen hand-picked tracks featuring the funkiest horns, vibes, and soul that will tickle your senses. They blend all the right qualities of instruments and sounds in this album. You can feel the buoyancy of these tracks that'll inspire you along the way. Uniquely named tracks include "Killa Soundboy," "The Brazilian Hipster," "Funk 4 Peace," and "Papa Was Stoned."
When Fort Knox Five plays, you can feel the love and energy emanating from the stage. They are masters of connecting music and multi-taskers extraordinaire. Enjoyed by fans of all ages worldwide, this family of funk has never disappoints. Reawaken your love of live bands with 10 Years of Fort Knox Five because music doesn't get any better than this. This band will continue to entertain for decades to come!
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