UK industrial techno standout Perc’s critically acclaimed Wicker & Steel LP was one of the strongest statements made by any producer last year, barely restrained enough to allow the listener to snatch quick gulps of air between the guttural, violent outbursts for which he is justly famed. Over subsequent months Perc released a pair of devastating remix EPs on his own label Perc Trax, and this material has now been collated and made available in one frankly unmissable digital package. What is most impressive about this collection is the diversity of interpretations on offer, with Ancient Methods’ brutal take on My Head Is Slowly Exploding standing in stark contrast to Walls’ mix of Choice and its swinging subterranean funk.
While the ten tracks proffered up here are universally strong, there are a few definite highlights. The aforementioned Ancient Methods remix opens in dread fashion with tortured moans and gradually intensifying industrial jackhammers, but when the tension reaches breaking point restraint is abandoned and replaced with cataclysmic technoid swagger. Walls’ version of Choice undergoes the opposite transformation, opening with the groaning and straining of metallic girders before a faded spoken passage heralds a switch to opulent groover, replete with amniotic bass warmth and competing, worming synthlines. The closing track, TVO’s “Fife Free” mix of You Saw Me is a deeply unsettling note to end on, an anchoring bass drone bathed in static and whispered snatches of conversation that will unnerve and enthrall. This is one the finest techno remix packages of the year so far, and should be regarded as essential for anyone with even a passing interest in the deeper side of the genre.