Perc: Wicker & Steel (Perc Trax)
Alistair Wells, the Perc Trax head honcho himself brings it full force with this wicked collection of techno tracks. And it’s a true beast — 50+ minutes of heavy industry, writhing with a physicality that is all-surrounding. Many of these tracks are quite functional for the darkest of dancefloors, such as the deep, clinical groove of “Gonkle,” or the non-stop pummel of “Start Chopping,” but elsewhere the sounds are more atmospheric and spacious. “Pre-Steel” is all feedback and delay, with sub-bass rumbles and swells anchoring an otherwise gaseous mix of sound, while “Snow Chain” recalls the patient insistence of a mid-tempo Pan Sonic workout, buoyant with its swollen bass and ascending drones. These tracks provide a really handsome counterpoint to the more industrial, percussive clatter found in tracks like “My Head Is Slowly Exploding,” “London, We Have You Surrounded,” or, perhaps the cacophonous piece de resistance, “Jmurph,” which closes out the album in a metallic frenzy. Wells rarely loses the dancefloor on any of his more up-tempo tracks here, but his tendency for industrial and sharp sounds, combined with a keen sense of space and atmosphere, makes this perhaps an even better experience on headphones… turn it up!