“At night, I toss and I turn, I don’t know what to say” drones a numbed voice as the ominous keys and synths billow in the background of Baltra’s ‘Fade Away (Vocal)’. It’s the opening track of the latest effort from Craigie Knowes, a burgeoning Glasweigian label founded on the back of a charitable compilation that threw together stalwart names like Move D, Bicep, Lord of The Isles, Hammer, and General Ludd. It’s also our first taste of the label’s Knowes Universal Broadcast series, equipped with a rumbling bassline that turns the sleepy number into a surprisingly danceable track. An oscillating acid line eventually clears a path, everything hanging with the echoing synth for a moment before reintroducing the low-end for a fist pumping second half.
Fairly self-explanatory, ‘Prozac Test’s an acid-drenched 7AM snooze on the beach with the scintillating Adriatic in the distance, whilst bleary eyed ravers stumble around with their pillows and sleeping bags. It’s a standout moment of pacifying ambience, complete with subtly rave-esque synth stabs, and, eventually, a 303 for some acid of the other variety. If Natureboy Gold‘s soundtracking the early morning comedown, then Highfield Casuals is the evening emergence before rolling into the next night (can you tell I’m still experiencing some post-Dimensions Festival blues, by the way?). Treated to another round of elongated, sombre tones, it’s a slice of blissed-out electro furnished with soothingly drawn-out synths.
Capping things off is a particular favourite. Inaugurating the Lobster Theremin-affiliated 1Ø PILLS MATE with his ND EP, Steven Simpson’s busy earning a solid reputation with an acid-tinged output. ‘Qaua’ is testament to that statement; emerging from bubbling, subterranean noise, the drum machine does the legwork on this track. The stripped-back, yet skilfully energetic patterns that are typical of Simpson’s productions, paving the way for another episode of acerbic acid energy.