Mitch Hunter and Max Spittal on the history of Craigie Knowes
Continuing our series focusing on Scottish labels, Craigie Knowes co-founders Mitch Hunter and Max Spittal talk us through the label's history and their new reissue label Wormhole Wisdom
While their logo may suggest otherwise, Craigie Knowes is definitely not moving at a snail’s pace. Forming in October 2015, the Glasgow-based record label run by Mitch Hunter and Max Spittal has rapidly built a reputation as one of the most exciting and interesting new imprints in Scotland.
So much so that in July this year they were invited by electronic music tastemakers Boiler Room to play a headline set in their London studio, just a day ahead of the label’s showcase at London nightclub FOLD. Despite their rising success, however, the pair remain humble. “We don’t want to say whether or not [the Boiler Room show] went well as it's probably best to let the people who watched it make that call,” they say.
Since its inception, the label has championed many local artists, releasing tracks by the likes of The Burrell Connection and Sebastian Swarm, but also setting their sights even higher with releases from bigger international names including Textasy and Jensen Interceptor. When it comes to selecting which tracks to release though, they aren’t affected by an artist’s status. Instead, they take a pretty simple approach to business: “If we like it, we'll release it.”
A stand-out in the label’s catalogue is their annual War Child Fundraiser compilations, proceeds from which are donated to the War Child charity. Past editions have featured tracks by huge names in dance music, such as Bicep, Move D and Shanti Celeste, and the pair are currently putting the latest compilation in the series into production, with tracks by No Moon, DJ Python and more. “Everyone should give a little back if they have the power and time to do so,” they say. “We try to bring in a mix of local producers and friends; artists we like but haven't worked with before and artists that are on our label fairly often.”
But running one label isn’t enough for Hunter and Spittal. They're also currently working with Glasgow-based DJ and producer Parts Unknown (real name George Elliott) on a reissue label called Wormhole Wisdom, reworking old, unheard recordings. “Looking for the original recordings we were interested in has been amazing, both for us and the artists responsible,” they say. “Getting to know these guys who came from a different generation of electronic music is great; how their lives have changed opens your mind up to see where the story goes in 10, 20, 30 years.”
As well as running record labels, the pair also DJ together under the Craigie Knowes name, and this month sees them join the line-up on Slam’s Maximum Pressure Halloween event at SWG3 (1 Nov). On the night they’ll play alongside a host of techno heavyweights, with headliners including Helena Hauff, Karenn and Paula Temple. The night after they’ll return to their home city of Perth to support Detroit underground legend DJ Bone at The Ice Factory.
Along with even more gigs lined up across the UK and Europe in the coming months, they also have some new releases planned. Showing no signs of slowing down any time soon, the pair are set to release EPs by SJ Tequilla and James Shinra on Craigie Knowes, as well as a three-part series of reissues by Grumptronix and Diode on Wormhole Wisdom, before the year ends, hopefully followed by a well-deserved break.