Ali Wells, aka Perc, is one of modern electronic music’s reference points; an internationally touring DJ and live act, founder of the renowned Perc Trax label and one of the most respected producers in techno today. Known as one of the most forward-thinking individuals in the scene, Wells fuses current sounds with his extensive knowledge of electronic music’s past to create something unique and unforgiving. With regular appearances on esteemed labels such as CLR, Kompakt, Drumcode, Stroboscopic Artefacts and Ovum, Wells is as uncompromising as he is unique.
By successfully combining bleeding edge techno with classic noise and experimental influences, Wells has been able to release a plethora of immaculate techno records over the last decade and a half, dropping his first ever solo album “Wicker & Steel” back in 2011. Reaching a wider audience with his “The Power & The Glory” LP a few years on, Wells consistently hit new heights evidenced by his infamous “Look What Your Love Has Done To Me”, recognised as one of the most well received techno tracks of 2017 whilst simultaneously clocking in as the highest selling song in the thirteen years that Perc Trax record label had been operational for. In the same year, Wells won the DJ Magazine award for ‘Best Remix’ in collaboration with Tom Russell (aka Truss), for their remix of “Move Your Body” by Mumdance and Logos.
More recently, a string of releases have landed on Perc Trax, including his formidable “Fire In Negative” EP, which includes three tracks adapted from his live set at Reaktor’s Unpolished event in Amsterdam. Known for his relentless, yet flawless DJ sets, Perc is a force to be reckoned with and continues to push the boundaries of techno every single year. It comes as little surprise that he is regularly invited to play at some of the most respected venues around the world.
“A low tempo, high impact breakbeat banger. Something out of the ordinary that sounds great at its original speed or pitched up a bit. Lockdown has given me more time to explore music and that has included going back over classic drum & bass and also looking for some more recent tracks I like from the genre for the first time in years.”
[Released: 26.02.21 on Metalheadz]
2. Overlook & Karim Maas – Heart Of Darkness
“A straight up jungle tear-out from the ever great UVB-76 label. Not something I get much chance to play at gigs but I love it anyway. The production on it is mint as well. Drum & bass always seemed to have the best production, maybe there was and still is a more competitive feeling between producers than we have in techno, I don’t know, but either way the steps forward one producer makes always seem to push others to up their game, something techno could really learn from.”
[Releasing: 19.03.21 on UVB-76]
3. SC-164 – Generator #2
“The SC-164 stuff is always amazing and this is no exception. This track sits somewhere between electro and glitchy techno. They are one of the few electro or electro related artists that I look out for. I’ve heard the classic 808 beats, synth arpeggios and vocoded vocals so many times in electro, but despite it being such an established genre sonically there are still opportunities to innovate and make something new and still have it accepted into the wider electro genre.”
[Releasing: 12.03.20 on Modal Analysis]
4. OB1 & Ciuciek – Louder
“London acid techno done the right way. A lot of people are playing this stuff recently so I always try to dig a bit deeper and avoid the bigger, more obvious tracks from this scene. I’ve been listening to Stay Up Forever, Smitten, Routemaster, Cluster and many of these labels since I first went to college and their attitude and desire to be separate from the mainstream commercial dance scene has always inspired me. Plus they were never afraid to speak out about politics and local issues, which is something we’ve only just started to see happen more widely in the last few years.”
[Released: 26.02.21 on Stay Up Forever]
5. Paul ‘Damage’ Bailey – Saturday Boy (Surgeon remix)
“Released again recently by Surgeon for February’s Bandcamp Friday, this is the first ever digital release of this classic Surgeon remix from back in 2004. Surgeon is an artist that I’ve been following for a long time now but this era of his productions are one of my favourites. Industrial and dirty but still light on its feet and with a solid groove. Every re-release of tracks or remixes from this era is always very welcome news to me.”
[Released: 01.06.04 on 1881 Records]
Recent Perc Trax Release: “The latest release on Perc Trax, rounding up three new remixes of some old favourites. Scalameriya remixes one of the stand out tracks from Ghost In The Machine’s debut album. EAS makes his Perc Trax debut remixing and updating my own ‘Dumpster’ track, the original mix of which came out in 2014 and I remix Furfriend for the third time, we obviously work well together!”
TRAX.412 PERC: “France’s Trax Magazine asked me to mix their first podcast mix of 2021 and I’m really happy with how it turned out. Doing mixes at home is never the same as recording a set at a club or festival. It’s a different feeling and a different kind of discipline. I also learn a lot about my DJ-ing when doing sets at home, but it really feels like now is the time to get back to events and parties and have that extra pressure of a crowd in front of me as I play.”