Perc Trax – Slowly Exploding (Perc Trax)
Techno revolutionary Perc Trax releases a label anti-retrospective. Louder Than War’s Paul Scott-Bates reviews.
No one can say that Perc Trax isn’t original. The label of Ali Wells (aka Perc) celebrates ten years in existence by not releasing a best of the label, but by releasing brand new tracks by its artists. Back in the day when albums like Pay It All Back (On-U Sound) and The Some Bizarre album paved the way for upcoming artists, labels brought together compilations of their releases. Now, Perc Trax turn that on its head with a preview of what is yet to come.
The music of the label isn’t anything to relax to. Its constant pounding beats and bass will have you more pumped up than Lance Armstrong’s tyres and won’t allow you to sleep for some time afterwards.
Opening with Drvg Cvltvre (I Don’t Want To Die) In James Franco’s House the pace and mood is set as the volume is unavoidably turned to the max and the percussion starts pumping in your head, throat and arteries. It’s not for the faint-hearted and something you won’t be witnessing on prime time Saturday night TV.
Happa’s To Die Hating Them sounds like the bastard son of The Prodigy (Phat Planet) and The Chemical Brothers (Let Forever Be) and is fantastic for it. Some would argue that it’s just noise, and some are entitled to their point of view, but what a noise. With Acid House for the 21 Century Gove by Sawf throbs and pulsates and messes with your head until it cannot be messed with any more.
Perc Trax and its artists have taken techno dance and fused it with the very best moments of Industrial rock and pop to create a sound that is purely their own. It maybe wouldn’t have been possible without the likes of Einsturzende Neubauten to influence them (Perc remixed Kollaps and Stahldubversions last year) but the vision of the label is unparalleled.
Repetitive and obsessive, The New Normal by Martyn Hare is turbulent and chaotic as it thrashes its way through five and a half glories minutes challenging anyone not to be moved in any way as the intensity spirals upwards and borders on uncontrollable proportions.
With further contributions from Perc in the form of the incredibly muffled and fuzzed-out Volley showing him at his experimental best, and a remix of Dread Network by Clouds where the thundering barrage of percussion and effects become quite outstanding, there can be no doubt that he is a true one-off.
As the album closes with Kareem and their spacious industrio overture Just When You Thought It Was Over, you really wish that it wasn’t. An intriguing and unrepeatable template has been cast. Get writing your Xmas list and make sure this is on it.
All words by Paul Scott-Bates. More of Paul’s writing on Louder Than War can be found here. Paul’s website is hiapop Blog. Paul is working hard to save Radio Lancashire’s On The Wire, the BBCs longest running alternative music programme. Follow him on twitter as @saveonthewire for all On The Wire news, or follow hiapop Blog on Twitter as @hiapop or on Facebook here.