Few people have done as much for the nastier, noisier end of UK techno than Ali Wells, from launching the Perc Trax label in 2004 with his progressive groover ‘Ice Cream For Kenton’, to last year’s now-ubiquitous anthem ‘Look What Your Love Has Done To Me’. This year has seen the stable host rowdy, brash and futuristic releases from like-minded noise engineers Scalameriya and Ghost In The Machine – and this latest offering continues apace, with two cuts of relentlessly, ridiculously tough kick drum assault.
On the A-side, Berlin-based Tymon steps up to the Perc Trax plate for the first time with an aneurysm-inducing rebuild of Perc’s own 2014 dancefloor tool ‘Hyperlink’. Whereas the original layered broken percussive elements over a steadfast, distorted 909 kick, Tymon’s low-end punches twist, morph and phase beyond recognition, never getting comfortable – this is nosebleed techno bordering on the distressing. It’s great.
On the flipside, industrial techno’s British posterboy Ansome takes on 2017’s masterpiece ‘London Isn’t England’. The original was by far one of Perc Trax’s best of last year, pairing Manni Dee’s flickering, intricate rhythmic weight with Ewa Justka’s shrill, haphazard vocal effects to remarkable effect. It would be foolhardy to aim to improve the original on its own terms, and Ansome has taken the smart choice of not attempting to do so. Instead, he’s torn it apart, mangling Justka’s voice into torturous shrieks and throwing them over six and a half minutes of broken-beat hardware pounding.
This brand of punishing techno can be criticised, not unfairly, for being boorish, macho and one-dimensional. I wouldn’t argue with anyone who holds that opinion. But, I don’t believe that the producers and DJs who make up this scene do so without a sense of humour – and when the music is this ferocious, this punk, and this fucking fun, I can only give my condolences to those who don’t get it. Long live Perc Trax.
Released October 12, 2018