Perc is one of electronic dance music’s reference points: an internationally touring DJ, label owner and one of the finest producers around. For London-based Perc, aka Ali Wells, his rise to prominence has seen him releasing atmospheric drone and premium techno since 2002.
It was pretty clear that he was headed for good things when James Holden supported one of his early demos. As usual, Holden wasn’t wrong.
He opened his case for us – showcasing his favourite tunes, gems and killers.
Here are his TopTen Tunes:
Perc – My Head Is Slowly Exploding (Ancient Methods Remix) Perc Trax
Ancient Methods don’t do many remixes and it is a huge honour to have them remix the first track from my album. The AM guys said they loved my original mix and they spent a long time working on their remix. They have said it is one of their best track to date and is currently the last track in their live sets. Their unique, dark industrial sound is one of the things that really inspires me in techno right now.
Tommy Four Seven – Ratu (Perc Remix) – CLR
It is always hard remixing a track that you already know and love. For my remix of ‘Ratu’ I wanted to keep the spirit and attitude of Tommy’s original mix and just add a touch of the Perc sound. I added the big, industrial snare on the 2nd beat of every bar plus the open hi hat that gives the groove a bit more bounce. Then all of the original parts have been distorted and filtered to add an extra layer of aggression and movement to the track. Also if you listen on headphones you can a lot of vocal and breathing sounds buried in the mix. I always like to add extra details that you might hear at home but not in a club.
Bass Clef – Rollercoasters Of The Heart – Punch Drunk
Punch Drunk is one of my favourite of the UK ‘bass music’ labels and compared with many similar labels they release a much wider selection of music. This track touches on the old skool sound with some big ravey piano stabs but manages to do it without sounding cheesy or cliched.
Mike Dunn – Gherkin Aftermath 909 – Rush Hour
This comes from the new Gene Hunt compilation of Rush Hour and is just a classic jack track. A synth line wiggles through the mix as the drum machines grooves just keep pushing the track forward. I play it as a full track in warm-up sets and as a tool in peak time sets. I don’t play many classics but I love to add the feel of older tracks to my sets, to add some rawness.
Gesloten Cirkel – Yamagic – Moustache Records
I know very little about this track but for me it is a perfect warm-up track. Perfectly programmed rolling drums and a tiny vocal sample that reminds me of the old days of working with rackmounted Akai samplers. I love random discoveries of tracks like this, it makes me seek out more by the artist and label.
Ekoplekz – Fountain Square EP – Mordant Music
Ekoplekz is one of the most exciting new UK producers and his sound is both ancient and modern at the same time. Mordant Music is a label that often appears in my leftfield mixes and their releases are always worth checking out.
Samuli Kemppi – Spirit Of Elibop (Donor/Truss Remix) – Perc Trax
This is one of the tracks from Samuli’s first full EP for Perc Trax. The original is quite a straight-up techno track and Perc Trax’s transatlantic duo turn up the strangeness with all manner of dub and industrial sounds creeping it. The whole EP is strong but I think this remix could be the killer track on it.
Adam Beyer – Simple Maze (Skudge Remix) – Drumcode
I was a bit shocked to see Skudge on Drumcode but then you think about the Swedish connection and it seems obvious that Skudge might do something for Adam or Cari or Joel. Their remix is great, dubbing out the original peak time banger and creating a track that has a big sound but avoids all the ‘big room’ cliches that I hate.
Iori – Lapis 1 – Prologue
Iori has been on my radar for a while and his remix of Jeff Derringer on Perc Trax was great, this EP though takes his sound to a whole new place. Dense and dark with atmospheric sounds punctuated by broken beat kick rhythms this could easily become one of my favourite tracks this year.
Phase – Dome Argus – Token
Token are one of the those labels that do not spam facebook or post tweets every few minutes, they just get on with that they do best, releasing great techno. Phase is one of my favourite artists connected to Token and this whole EP is very strong. It reminds me of a more techno version of the classic Wild Pitch sound and that fusion definitely works for me.