“I try to find music that I like” [wywiad]


Alistair Wells defined the direction of techno music nearly twenty years ago, and is often called “relentless”. The founder of the famous Perc Trax label and one of the most respected producers is considered a standard in modern electronic music. Perc, with ever-increasing recognition, sets new challenges and brings innovations to its sound. Ahead of the upcoming 3rd edition of the DUEL Warehouse event at Hala Kolumnowa in Warsaw, the always keen interviewer told us about past collaborations, brand operation and evolution, brand building, and the politicization of music as well as the good and bad of music.

Pearce – Easter Awaken Festival 2022

Perc unfinished session

Damien Badzig: If I had been stubborn, I could have said ‘Wishing you all the best’ for the 20th Anniversary of Foch’s Premiere – Fusion / Strider and Spartak – Swallows and Amazon. You know do you remember?

percent: Hi, yes, I remember those versions but didn’t know any memory associated with them. In general, I don’t really look back much at the music I’ve made in the past. I don’t remember the last time I heard something before the album bitter musicwhich was released in 2017.

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We know you’re very picky when it comes to “going back to the backi” so if you decide on one, the choice is eg Ansome or Adam X, your AX&P companion. In your career, you’ve also shared a studio with Ansome and Giiorgio Gigli, forming the duo Endless. I think I read all of your interviews and couldn’t find any mention of these two projects anywhere. Intentional treatment or was there no occasion? If it’s the latter, maybe you can tell something more about the projects you mentioned from the past, which most people probably had no idea about?

percent: I never avoided talking about collaborations, only that no one really asked me about these projects. In cooperation with giorgio It’s over, and now we’re in completely different places when it comes to the music we play and make. Hope you enjoy the live shows with Ansom May return in the future. I spent some time in the studio with Ansome before the pandemic, but none of those sessions ended.

AX&P (Adam X & Perc) – disturbance

Perc is a major issue

At the end of last year, at the invitation of Musicradar, I shared five tips on producing music with my readers. You mentioned “analog before digital”, “the trick to creating a side chain”, “watch out for stacking kicks”, “don’t use templates”, and “don’t use everything well in your path”. As the proud owner of one of today’s popular art music labels, would you possibly be able to list similar tips on running a brand? After all, everyone can set up a poster with just a few clicks on the computer, right? Just what next?

percent: I wouldn’t say that Burke Tracks He is creative. I always see it as me, my computer and a bunch of vinyl boxes. You can’t judge the size and importance of a label or version when you’re right in the middle of it. Difficult to give directions. I’m just trying to do the opposite of most labels. I watch what each label does. The artists they sign, the music they release and the way they release them, and then I try to do something different. This is the easiest way to stand out from the crowd. The key is also not to sign the music but to your close friends, even if it is an easier and simpler way to work. Most of the Perc Trax artists became my friends after joining the label. When they sent me a demo or asked them to create songs for Perc Trax, they were complete strangers to me.

Perc Trax celebrates its 18th birthday this year. The beautiful history of your poster, which consists of hundreds of versions, including more than 30. How has your eyes evolved over the past 20 years in terms of the evolution of sound, starting with canton ice cream Created by eon cor Scalameria?

percent: It only changes over time. For me, the most important thing is that the artist and the brand develop organically. I don’t really understand when people shut down one art label to start another or announce on Instagram that they’re no longer playing the music they’ve been playing for the past few years. Why not let your original label or DJ music grow and evolve naturally? This development is more interesting to me than people who start a new project or change their voice to follow fashion every few months. There is no long term plan for Perc Trax, it just takes me where I want to go. When it comes to pressing vinyl, I have an idea of ​​what’s coming next year, but I look no further than before.

Also check out: Balance of Rhythm and Strength on Scalameriya’s latest album. Serbs return to Perc Trax with the voice of the last twenty years

Perc
Vojtek Rojic’s photo

Perc artistic freedom

SHDW & Obscure Shape, announcing the launch of the new Mutual Rytm brand, wrote about it Luke Slater, The Advent and Benie Simsie were the cornerstones of their careers in the late ’90s thanks to their honest and innovative voice that makes today’s younger generation still admire them. Marco and Lowe stated that their goal was to achieve the same with their new music. What if you had any ideas, goals or assumptions when you founded Perc Trax in 2004?

percent: Perc Trax was always supposed to be just for my music, but soon demos started from other artists I wanted to release. At the time of the start of Perc Trax, there was no longer-term goal other than that I wanted complete control over my music. What the label stands for is still important to me, and now that I’ve worked with other artists, I try to treat them well, give them artistic freedom and keep them updated on their releases. Unfortunately, lack of communication between the poster and the artist after signing the contract has always been a very common phenomenon in our industry.

The past two years have changed a lot of people’s opinions about many things, including listening to music or partying. Do you see any changes in your perception of reality with a focus on producing and receiving music?

percent: No, not really. Finally, everything starts to go back to normal. Siege is like a kind of surreal dream. It sure happened, but it seems like a long time ago. I’m glad things are back on track. I just hope you keep doing that.

Perc – greedy dance

Perc unexpected success

I once mentioned that one of Perc Trax’s main goals is to give underrated artists and songs a platform to reach a wider audience. This goal can’t even be questioned, but once the label turns 20, please reveal what other major goals you’ve been able to achieve over the years and may not yet be achieved.

percent: The label has held out for a long time, which is an achievement in itself. I have no other goals for myself or for Burke Tracks. It is important to me to give artists a platform for their creativity and an opportunity to express themselves musically but also visually. Building the ubiquitous brand that so many people are interested in now has never really interested me. I didn’t really expect to achieve anything with Perc Trax or in my career so every successful release or great party I play still means a lot to me.

Often in your interviews, the topic of connection to politics is brought up. A very broad topic, but I would like to focus mainly on Ukraine in the context of the war in which it is taking place. I mean the politicization of music, in this case the music that financially supports our eastern neighbors in the form of EPs, albums and VA. There is no shortage of obscene voices criticizing such help that music should be free of politics. What do you think of this situation?

percent: Of course, music and politics go hand in hand. I don’t know how anyone would disagree with that. No matter how privileged you are in life, when something like war happens, it will still affect you. And even if you don’t live in Ukraine or don’t have a family there, the effects of war affect all of us.

Perc
picture of jimmy mould

Perc is a good start

“In the past, many people had great ideas, but few were able to implement them at a high level. Now everything is produced at a high level, but often new ideas are sorely missing. Perhaps people are afraid to try new things, perhaps they have been Already implement everything that can be done with technology, but I really do not believe it ”- 5 years have passed since these words and although it may seem that they are not much, when it comes to music it is almost immortal. Do you still think that you still lack new ideas? Techno ate her tail?

percent: There is good music and bad music in all musical genres. I’m not sure if the ratio of good to bad music in tech has changed recently. I just try to focus on finding music that I like. I think you have to remember that there is always great music out there, but sometimes you just have to look a little deeper. Ignoring what the mainstream music press puts on the covers and front pages of their magazines and trying to suck it up our throats is always a good start.

During our podcasts on the YouTube channel, we discussed the topic of promoting and marketing Polish artists several times. The topic is important because nowadays activity on social media is very important in the context of the work of contemporary artists. Looking at your Facebook, I don’t see you have a problem with that. The question is, has it always been this way? Do you find yourself on social networks?

percent: Social media is unfortunately an inescapable reality in the music industry as well as in every other aspect of our lives. It seems that it is much easier to start a DJ career when you have a strong position on social media than when you have a strong position in production or DJ. The fact that there are artists whose entire career is based on their Instagram photos and not the music they play as a DJ says all there is to know about social media.

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