Remembering Jon H. Of Fort Knox Five

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David Ireland
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Remembering Jon H. Of Fort Knox Five

I remember talking to Jon Horvath for the first time on the phone around 2004 or so. We had become friendly after doing an interview in BPM Magazine for his band Fort Knox Five and were musical comrades pretty quickly after that.

These calls would happen randomly, roughly every four months and last for no less than an hour, often 2+. His voice was always a welcome one, filled with infectious energy and ready to go the distance on any musical discussion that might develop.

He was always excited about the musical ecosystem in which he inhabited and contributed to. He lived and breathed the culture like so many of us did at the time, constantly producing, digging for records and DJing countless sets at clubs around the world. In many respects, he was the DJs DJ. A guy that truly and deeply loved his profession.

When a packet of white label vinyl showed up at the office from Jon H., I went on a music break and headed right to the turntables. I always knew there would be some secret weapon in there for my DJ set, and I still have all of those records to this day and probably always will. Memories hide in strange places, even in the grooves of old white label records.

Jon H. came into my life again as I started my second journey into the world of indie media  with Magnetic in 2011. He signed on to be our Left Field / Downtempo / World Music Editor and brought our readers his monthly selections of hidden gems. We had the same conversations about music, although the calls were shorter they were still just as enthusiastic and motivating. In a way, we were kind of starting on our second journey together, into this new world of electronic dance music that was the same yet completely different in many ways.

I remember hanging with him and his wife Pamela down at the Voodoo Festival in New Orleans in 2011, it was a reunion of sorts for many old schoolers all hanging out watching Fatboy Slim at the Red Bull stage. It was the most fun I had had in a long time.  Jon hadn't missed a beat and had the same level of enthusiasm he'd had back in the day. He was in it, like he'd always been and was looking forward when so many of us couldn't keep our eyes out of the rear view mirror.

Shortly after that party we got the devastating news that Jon had lost his wife rather suddenly. Then Jon H. for the first time in the time that I had known him was quiet.

It was music that brought him back from that loss; I'm sure of it. He attacked his career with so much renewed vigor that it was like watching a Rocky movie. New albums, new mixes, more gigs, he was going to outrun the pain and remember Pamela with music.

Then today I received the news that we had lost Jon. How is this even possible? Today I am quiet as I'm sure many others are as we mourn the loss of Jon Horvath.

I will miss those calls, the ones that came randomly, lasted for hours and always made me remember what was important.