Perth DJs Craigie Knowes get ready to take on New York

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Their journey in the music industry will take them from the Malt House to Manhattan.

The Fair City pub is a far cry from the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple. But its significance for DJs Max Spittal and Mitch Hunter cannot be underestimated.

Inside the walls of the Princes Street venue was where the Perth pair realised their early potential and, ever since, momentum has been building.

Craigie Knowes, their record label, initially attracted admirers on a local front. Now its influence has snowballed to international level.

That very fact was reflected in a recent email which confirmed their talents on the decks will be taking them to New York next month.

“I first heard of it when Max sent me a voice clip of himself singing ‘New York, New York’,” Mitch explained to the Perthshire Advertiser.

Popular music nights were held at the Malt House and the lads now perform all over the world

“I checked my emails and saw we had an offer from a promoter in Brooklyn.

“This year has been pretty crazy, making our Boiler Room debut and going to various cities around Europe.

“We began at the Malt House as we felt there wasn’t really anything for young people in Perth. It’s snowballed from there and we’ve just ran with it.

“I think the fact we were discovering dance music for the first time, along with the people that came to the parties, made it special.

“It was kind of ‘look what we’ve found’ and inviting all of our friends from various schools across Perth to come and enjoy it with us.

“We found a common thing that we loved with people who we previously had rivalries with, as you do in Perth. Music brought everyone together.”

Their formula for success has been a simple but highly effective one. And Mitch was quick to thank agency Paradigm, whose roster includes the likes of Grace Jones, Noel Gallagher and Annie Mac.

He said: “The type of music we put out is massively varied. We’ve released ambient records, deep house, all the way to acid techno and old UK hardcore sounding stuff from artists based all around the world.

“The general rule is, if we like it, we will release it. We think that is what has worked for us so far so we have no reason to change it.

The pair on the decks

“The basis of our taste generally looks at the sound of Detroit in the ‘80s and the whole movement that included Drexciya and Underground Resistance.

“This journey has been a lot of fun.

“But we would still be buying records and DJ-ing in our bedrooms if we hadn’t been picked up by Paradigm or booked by clubs to come and play.

“It’s what we love doing whether it’s to a big crowd at a club or festival, or sharing music with our best friends in our bedroom.”

While performances are increasingly moving around the country and overseas, there comes importance in remembering their roots.

Max and Mitch are passionate about Perth’s music scene and have contributed to the resurgence of renowned nightclub The Ice Factory.

Criaige Knowes is heading to New York

Mitch said: “The owners of the Ice Factory share our ethos of providing a super safe space for anyone to come and dance.

“It can be about forgetting the outside world and their phones or jobs for a few hours each week without being judged.

“The support from the young people of Perth for Groovement has been excellent.

“And with the return of the Rhumba, nights like Voyage and IO, the scene is going from strength to strength. Long may it continue.”

Performing at renowned venues across Europe and beyond is a touch surreal for the former Perth High School students with humble beginnings.

But with New York on the horizon, the dedicated duo realise that resting on their laurels is not an option.

“We both feel ready for whatever comes at us,” said Mitch.

The Perth pair have performed in Berlin

“Gigs that perhaps would have made us nervous when we first began playing, we now feel excited more than anything.

“I think that confidence comes from having spent endless hours mixing vinyl in our own homes and obsessively listening to music for the past 10 years.

“We never actually thought it would get to the stage where people paid for us to come and play at their parties but we are hugely grateful that they do.

“We often catch ourselves smiling and laughing at each other sitting at the departure lounge of the airport in pure excitement of what we are doing.

“And having our last gig of the year in New York is going to round off a special year for sure.

“But before then we are back in Berlin, Bristol, Glasgow, London and will also be playing for the first time in Geneva.”

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