Review: The latest addition to the Craigie Knowes roster is A Sagittariun. Known for releases on his Elastic Dreams label and other well-known outlets like Idle Hands, the project's strength lies in its ability to reinterpret 90s rave and techno for modern dance floors. On "Heart Sutra", this trademark style comes into focus as breezy synths are fused with a snappy rhythm and a pulsating groove. The atmospheric melodies and high-paced rhythm of "Interzone" inhabit a similar territory, but the UK producer also pays tribute to Craigie Knowes' label sound on the rumbling bass and metallic 808s of "The Soft Machine".
Review: Craigie Knowes is a weird and wonderful leftfield disco label based in Glasgow. How weird you ask? It's pretty out-there, but then all the best music has nearly always been so, and that's fine by us. This various artists EP, Knowes Universal Broadcast, features five tracks, the shortest of which is seven minutes long. That would be "Fade Away" by Baltra, a lo-fi distorted acid jacker, Highfield Casuals deliver the dreamy and melancholic "Highfield Daze", whilst Natureboy Gold rocks it harder with the slammin' Fairlight/303 orgy, "Prozac Test". Lastly Stephen Simpson delivers "Qaua", a heavily percussive, sub aquatic groove machine.
Review: France based Liverpudlian Carl Finlow requires no introduction. He presented five tracks of his idiosyncratic electro style for Scottish imprint Craigie Knowes back in 2016 on the Boolean EP - which now receives a much needed digital reissue. From the deep electro funk of "Chronos", dystopian sci-fi bodyrock of "Marauders" to the utterly majestic "Exile" nailing that same aesthetic of the Detroit innovators. Following up some great music on AC, Electrix and Lone Romantic in recent times, Finlow is still a force to be reckoned with.
Review: Delivering the best in electro beats this side of the cosmos is the super sonic Craigie Knowes label outta Glasgow. Following an epic 2019 that saw releases from the likes of Textasy, Maelstrom, Jensen Interceptor and the always reliant John Daly, Craigie Knowes follows up its first 2020 release by Cygnas with the deeply cool Descent EP from Carl Finlow. Full of some fine snap, crackle and deep electro pop - word to the Craigie Knowes mastering engineer of choice over the years - this EP maintains the quality of standard we've come to know from the label. The hit here is "Undertones" with its glistening production values that finds its sister track (or slight dub version) in "Descent". For something gnarlier check the riffing basslines of "Cascade" or the spacious and percussive minimalism of "Displaced". Bonafide quality.
Review: Having toiled away for years, Cygnus is now joining that other Texan electro producer, ERP / Convextion and finally gaining a global audience for his work - with key releases on Barba, CPU and Craigie Knowes. Like Gerard Hanson's ERP project, both the title track on this release and "My Secret Data" resound to dramatic bass patterns and woozily atmospheric synths. However, it would be wrong to assume that Cygnus is following Hanson's path too closely; "Metroid C64" is a stripped back, electro funk affair, while "Votoms" sees him dive deep underwater to deliver a free-flowing workout that is redolent of Drexciya at their most esoteric.
Review: It's time to take the acid-breaks fusion to a whole new level here as DAWL lands on Craigie Knowes for four tracks of electronic mastery, kicking off with the moogy arpeggios and crunchy breakbeat drumwork of 'Let's Go'. Following this we then move into the more nostalgic padwork and rolling percussive switchups of 'Drop It', before we head down a super old-school road on the bubbling bass tones of 'Heavyweight'. Finally we finish this one up with a dash of additional spice as 'Overdub' wades into view, slowing the tempo into a more timedancey episode, driven by it's unusual percussive expanses and acidic synth patterns.
Review: With a new artist album that embodies his sensuous deep techno sound due for release, Derek Carr's star is firmly in the ascent. However, on Pioneers, he shifts his focus somewhat. As its title suggests, "Acid Bath' is a jittery 303 workout, albeit one that is led by a bouncy bass. Similarly, on "Hanging on a String", the Irish producer drops tough drums and a linear rhythm, all the time tempering this harder sound with one of his trademark sweeping string sequences. He also reverts to full-blown deep techno on "Athenia" and "The Pioneers", where breezy synths and symphonic melodies unravel over wide-eyed, electronic grooves.
Review: On the back of a handful of heady EPs released over the last five years, Night Tide label founder Eluize has been tipped as a future star. This well judged and expertly produced debut album - which also happens to be Craigie Knowes first foray into the full-length format - provides further supporting evidence of the Berlin-based artist's ascending status. Check, for example, the fluid, spacey, soft-touch brilliance of intricate opener "Home", the off-kilter deep house headiness of "Say" - in which she sings appealingly over skittish beats and intergalactic electronics - and the Motor City techno shuffle of "Distance". There's much to admire elsewhere across the LP, too, from the deep acid-jack of mind-altering club cut "Disconnect" and the retro-futurist ambient techno throb of inspired closing cut "Still".
Review: Following a series of impressive releases for CPU and Cultivated Electronics, Jensen Interceptor debuts on the brilliant Craigie Knowes. "Aqua Lung" gets the release off to a high-paced start with a frenetic electro-techno workout that draws on dreamy Detroit sounds and buzz saw acid lines in equal measure. "Wave Slave" sees the Australian artist refocus on pure electro with a visceral 808 workout, while a similar approach applies on "ELEKTRO". Speak-and-spell vocals inspired by Kraftwerk unravel over a great shuffling rhythm and atmospheric synths. Rounding off this fantastic release is the eerie, Dopplereffekt-style funk of "Biometric".
Review: Irish deep house hero John Daly (Feel Music) makes his debut on Scottish imprint Craigie Knowes with four quality grooves, following up some great ones on the label by Jensen Interceptor, Posthuman and Carl Finlow. The Safe EP features the dusty, crunchy old school emotions of "What If" with its chunky Juno bassline that's reminiscent classic Mr Fingers. The retro flavoured antics continue on the euphoric acid house vibe of the tile track, the sombre dub techno of "Moving On" and finally "For The Sake" goes for a faster tempo on this powerful piece that takes its cues from the hi-tech soul aesthetic of classic Detroit.
Review: Given that money from all sales of this release go to the War Child charity (an institution that fine Scottish imprint Craigie Knowes has been supporting since its inception), it would be easy to recommend buying it regardless of the quality of the music contained within. Happily, it's a brilliant EP full of fabulous cuts that you really should own regardless of the release's philanthropic intentions. Check, for example, the fluid, off kilter, subtly disco-tinged brilliance of Mark Du Mosch's "Flyyying" [sic], the deep and spacey electro lusciousness of William The Squid's "Arab Sun" and the heavy analogue wonkiness of jack-track specialist Jared Wilson's "Pulsewidth". Arguably best of all, though, is the twisted acid house psychedelia of Eluize's breath-taking closer "L.L.L".
Review: Glaswegian label Craigie Knowes has yet to receive the hype that its quietly impressive back catalogue so clearly deserves. Perhaps this EP from sometime Mork White regular No Moon (AKA Manchester-based producer Fred Shepherd) will refresh the parts the imprint's other releases have yet to reach. All three tracks are impeccably spacey and futurist in tone, with Shepherd wrapping dreamy chords and glistening electronic melodies around snappy drum machine rhythms. Those searching for tracks to illicit saucer-eyed dancefloor moments should head straight for the rushing bliss of "Infinite Dreamz", while "Mallet Fury" offers a more bustling, bottom-heavy take on the same core idea. As for "Explanet Vibe Cult", it sounds like the kind of club-ready deep space electro jam that you'd find on cult Sheffield label Central Processing Unit.
Review: No Moon aka Fred Shepherd follows last year's Infinite Dreamz EP on Craigie Knowes with this fine electro release. "Breakpoints" resounds to steely, clipped drums and a pulsating bass, with Shepherd layering atmospheric sound-scapes over the top. On "Aoe Advancing", he opts for a somewhat more esoteric approach; spindly break beats unravel and provide the basis for melodies that strike a fine balance between dreamy and tropical, as Shepherd deploys the well-known Sueno Latino bird sample. "Where Do We Go From Here?" is a similarly inclined piece, with a combination of spacey sounds and acidic spirals unfolding over tight break beats.
Review: It's been quite a year for Posthuman: apart from releasing a series of EPs on labels like Shipwrec and Balkan Vinyl, they also put out an excellent long player, Mutant City Acid. Rounding off their year is The Snake Bites Twice, their debut on Scottish imprint Craigie Knowes. While "Cobra Structure" and "Polywater Acid" deliver more of the same low-slung acid that they are synonymous with, the EP also throws up some surprises. The primal jacking "Down 2 Jakk" features psychedelic rave riffs, while on the aptly named "Steal the Show", they take inspiration from bleep techno and hardcore - check those piano stabs - to deliver a wonderfully moody, evocative cut.
Review: Under the SJ Tequilla alias, Naota Matsuda has a track record for creating dreamy, otherworldly deep house that sounds like it could have been made by a bunch of loved-up Italians in 1989. He's at it again on his latest EP, where opener "Sanya" offers a near perfect fusion of hazy, machine-driven grooves, humid sounds, tropical melodies and chords so rich and delicious that might make you hallucinate. Matsuda also offers up his interpretation of turn of the 90s ambient house on the impeccable "Deolta", mixes clanking acid house and swirling electronics on "Sweat Salts 2" and takes us on a trip into the farthest reaches of the solar system on drowsy electronic number "The Day After". It all adds up to another inspired EP from the fast-rising producer.
Review: The Annual Fundraiser courtesy of Scottish imprint Craigie Knowles is back! They've recruited another bunch of heavy hitters to light up the clubs, with a cause to lighten the burden of war that's placed on the shoulders of children. Kiwi duo Chaos In The CBD throw down the Afro influenced, spiritual life music of "Natural Taboo", BRSTL's finest Shanti Celeste gives us the booming electro-funk of "Dolphin Chant" and Den Haag's legend Legowelt gives us the shimmering analogue soul of "At Delphi". Elsewhere, UK hardware maverick Neville Watson throws down the rather first wave Detroit sounding "Hazing" while the Going Good and Lovers Rock affiliated Yoshinori Hayashi serves us a wonderful, Erased Tapes style classical ambient journey titled "Pogado Tower"
Review: Vin Sol debuts on Craigie Knowes with an EP directed squarely at the dance floor. It starts in deep mode with "Tribal Delusions", which is reminiscent of early 90s US deep house thanks to its looped vocal sample and jazzy keys. "Spraypaint on a Werewolf" also mines a classic sound, but on this occasion, Vin Sol has chosen the squelching 303s of Chicago acid tracks for inspiration. Another influence from the same city is audible on "Alien Adjustment". with the US producer dropping acid lines over a slamming ghetto track, while on "Hyper Tension" he reverts to a similar approach as "Spraypaint..", albeit with a more reduced drum track at its centre.
Review: Following on from releases by Carl Finlow and DJ Overdose, Craigie Knowes now secure the services of Voiron. With releases for Rave or Die and Acid Avengers already to his credit, this French producer has impeccable credentials. Unsurprisingly, his debut on the Scottish label is led by old school influences. Rave shrieks, hoover bass and heavy break beats all come together on the acid-soaked "Generation Voiron", while the title track is a similarly structured workout, albeit with a lighter, trippy feel. "4 Pole Voiron" (Acid mix)" sees Voiron explore a deeper techno approach - even though the grinding bass and woozy acid lines remain - while "Let's Voiron" is a noisier, jacking techno workout.