Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Perc in the mix

Download / Listen at CLR.NET

From his earliest demos to his current position as a key figure in the global techno scene, Perc (aka Ali Wells) has taken the established forms of the music he loves and twisted them into something new and fresh.

Building up successful relationships with scene-leading labels such as Drumcode, Ovum, Kompakt and CLR whilst unleashing a strong run of releases on his own Perc Trax label has seen Perc’s influence and support grow even further. With each release his sonic experimentation has taken another leap forward without losing sight of the dance floor.

2009’s ‘Throb’ on Ovum and ‘Submit’ on CLR brought Perc his first support from the key Berlin tastemakers and his 2010 releases including ‘BCG’ (Perc Trax) and ‘Monad V’ (Stroboscopic Artefacts) have made him an essential artist for those with an interest in techno that refuses to conform to preconceptions. 2010 has ended on a high with a trio of releases for Perc including his third EP on CLR, a collaboration with Italy's Modern Heads on Stroboscopic Artefacts and a split 12" with rising star Sawf on Perc Trax.

As a DJ and live act Perc has covered all of Europe plus multiple tours of USA, Canada, Mexico, South Africa and Japan. Personal highlights for Perc's touring include a back-to-back set with Oliver Ho in Tokyo, his debut at Tresor in early 2010, being part of the Drumcode tent at Dance Valley in 2008 and playing on the same bill as Richie Hawtin and Speedy J at 2008’s Electric Deluxe Queen’s Day party at Melkweg, Amsterdam.

2011 will see the release of Perc's first album, another tour the USA and Canada and his debut at Berghain. The first single from Perc's forthcoming debut album, Wicker & Steel, "My Head Is Slowly Exploding," does justice to the album's title with an unusually tactile approach to techno, and an unusually stark one as well—six minutes of mortar blasts and a ringing in your ears. It's harrowing: apart from the regular kick drum, the music has been stripped of techno's usual crutches. Everything floats free around the faint, 4/4 vertebrae, and with more space between the beats, you hone in on the particulars of every element—the wide-open train whistle, the crumple of struck metal.

Perc - My Head Is Slowly Exploding by Perc

Ancient Methods go at their remix like a charcoal rubbing, filling in the empty spaces with droning, growling synthesizers and emphasizing the beat in quick, violent strokes. There's an echo of breakbeat hardcore in the groove, but the idea has more to do with the clanging percussionist Z'EV.

The other remix comes from Chris Carter, of Throbbing Gristle and Chris and Cosey fame. He's been turning up with increasing frequency in the contemporary electronic scene, with a recent reissue on Optimo and remixes, with Cosey Fanni Tutti, for Excepter. From the sound of things here, he understands techno better than most of the producers currently associated with the genre. Drawing out skeletal drum patterns and staccato synth tones over just a hint of a downbeat, he achieves more genuine tension than the most ashen, pummeling, by-the-numbers industrial techno cut. While nagging tri-tone riffs and nervous 16th-note patter stretch out like electric filament, the proportions of the thing blow out like soft glass. It's the head exploding as viewed from inside, in perfect, crystalline, stop-time motion.

To book Perc for a dj or live set please contact Elite Music Management
Email: or