London-based electronic producer Alistair Wells unleashed one of his career defining releases with his third album as Perc ‘Bitter Music’ in 2017, with the track ‘Look What Your Love Has Done To Me’ going on to become his biggest track to date. In this case, it’s the endless rush of rip-offs and shameless rehashes of that aforementioned track that apparently inspired the three new tracks on this latest 12”EP, cheekily titled ‘Three Tracks To Send To Your Ghost Producer’.
Those already familiar with Perc’s characteristically muscular stomp will have a good idea of what to expect here, but this case the sounds are extremely austere even for him, with any hint of melody or hook pared away in favour of relentlessly mechanistic throbbing textures and rhythms.
‘Toxic NRG’ emerges out of overdriven bass distortion and relentlessly hammering kickdrums before bursts of industrial noise stab into the claustrophobic gloom like sudden strobe lights, while an anxiety-inducing alarm tone starts howling through the mix, and phased tech-house hi-hats lock into the place against the punishing kicks, adding a streamlined edge.
‘Driller’ meanwhile more than lives up to its name as Perc coils duelling layers of industrial beats and serrated snare shuffles around a whirring core of dark bass ambience, the rhythms whirling like rotor blades as harsh bursts of distortion lock in around the hammering kickdrums, in what’s easily the most gleefully over the top and punishing moment here.
Finally, ‘Pivot’ closes this EP off with a descent into thundering assembly line techno as staccato bursts of industrial percussion suddenly rear up against what sounds like the steely whirring of knives being sharpened, the flickering hi-hats that continually phase between the speakers adding a disorientingly queasy undercurrent when listened to over headphones. Characteristically brutal stuff from one of techno’s more outspoken characters.