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A Brief History Of Perc Trax

The lineup for the 2016 edition of concert series Transition might be one of the best we’ve ever seen in India for techno. Performing with the likes of Paula Temple, Brian Sanhaji, Bas Mooy, Tommy Four Seven, Truncate is iconic producer, selector and label owner – Perc.

Right from his earliest days as a young producer in the UK to his transition into becoming one of electronic music’s key figures, Ali Wells has been redefining the way techno is presented and heard around the world.

His debut album ‘Wicker and Steel’ inadvertently cast Perc as a figurehead of politically motivated industrial techno and was described by the Guardian in 2011 as “a bleak audio montage of a Britain beset by riots, phone hacking and economic uncertainty”. Although Perc has been vocally uncomfortable with the suggestion that his music was a direct response to political issues, larger societal concepts have always played an interesting role in shaping his sound. Take his 2014 album ‘The Power And The Glory’. In an interview with Attack Magazine, Perc had this to say about it "The Power And The Glory was originally going to be quite critical of organised religion and I was doing sneaky field recordings in churches and things like that. It was going to be choral sounds, organs, preacher samples, things like that, but it just didn’t really work. I think it maybe could be done quite nicely by someone but maybe not me. That got scrapped and the title stayed. The concept of it now, it’s weird – I don’t want to sound like some sort of new-age self-help book, but it’s about the power within and how you can’t read someone on first meeting."

Needless to say, he’s an interesting guy. Apart from playing at some of the most well respected stages worldwide, Perc features as a regular artist on scene-leading labels like CLR, Kompakt, Drumcode, Stroboscopic Artefacts and Ovum as well as his own world-renown Perc Trax imprint.

Founded in 2004, Perc Trax - the producer’s London based label, has been consistently churning out quality techno for the last 12 years, with album after album raking in positive reviews from music journalists and fans alike.

There’s really no better way to describe Perc’s approach to music than to dive into Perc Trax. We got in touch with Wells, who’s all set to play in Hyderabad tomorrow and New Delhi with Uncoded this Saturday, and asked him to send us some of Perc Trax most influential tunes, that have shaped what the label has become today.

1. Avus - Fancy Arse (James Holden Sunday Night Extension)

The second release on the label and first that really hit a big audience. The original is a grinding acid track and James took it to a whole new level with his remix.

2. Go Hiyama - Mathematical Accuracy

Perc Trax's early years had a run of great releases by Japanese artists. Redsound's ‘Pink Body’ was one of the first releases with the gritty industrial sound that the label is known for now. Then came this from Go Hiyama, which really marked out the label's future. The EP also came with a remix from Berghain's Norman Nodge, which brought the label to the attention of many of the key Berlin-based DJs.

3. Ed Rush & Nico - Defect (Peter Van Hoesen's Twisted Spine Remix)

The British techstep label No U Turn has always been a huge influence on my sound. It was an honour to have the label's founder and one of its key artists on Perc Trax. Peter did a great remix of their classic 'Defect', keeping the dark spirit of the original intact but directing it towards techno dance floors.

4. Perc - BCG (Forward Strategy Group Remix)

The lead single from my second album 'The Power And The Glory', this track is as bold a statement of intent as anything Perc Trax has released to date. It sums up everything I want from the label; power, energy and the ability to shock.

5. Perc - Take Your Body Off

The lead single from my second album 'The Power And The Glory', this track is as bold a statement of intent as anything Perc Trax has released to date. It sums up everything I want from the label; power, energy and the ability to shock.

6. Truss - Brockweir

One of the highlights from the 'Slowly Exploding' compilation and a track forever linked to memories of the worldwide '10 Years Of Perc Trax' tour. It eats dance floors for breakfast, whilst avoiding so many of the clichés that modern techno tracks often employ.

7. Ansome - Dave The Rave

One of the key tracks from Ansome's first EP for Perc Trax. He brings a fresh interpretation of rough-edged techno to the label, along with a world class live set.

**Perc will be performing in Hyderabad tomorrow at The Farm World Cafe and Delhi this Saturday at I-Kandy. Follow Transition on Facebook for updates**

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18 February 2016