Review: Perc's Tracks Of... has become the unofficial annual state of the hard techno nation synopsis, and 2020 is no different. It features label favourites such as AnD, Manni Dee and Scalameriya, who contribute linear, driving tracks (Dee's "The Wolves" and "Exploit Me, I'm Yours"), crunchy industrial bangers ( Scalameriya's intense "Plothole") and searing acid workouts (AnD's "Morning Sesh").
But this year's edition also welcomes newer names to the stable such as Ghost in the Machine and Tymon, who impress with the visceral "Breaking the Seal" and the broken beat "Woodman" respectively. The compilation also collects tracks that veteran producer The Advent's released this year on the label, with the lean rhythm of "Scorched" and the jacking "Planting Seeds" - a follow-up to the 1997 track "House Seed" - really standing out.
Review: Breaking The Seal follows on from Ghost In The Machine's 2018 King Dead release for Perc Trax and consolidates Frank Nitzinsky and Nils van Lingen's reputation as purveyors of heavy-duty techno. The title track and "Cold Rush" are breakneck-speed industrial bangers, underpinned by concrete kicks and jackhammer percussion while featuring wild siren riffs. "Napalm Breath" sees the pair maintain the same intensity levels by deploying broken beats, but it's only a temporary reprieve and on "Combo Breaker" they impress with a wild combination of gabba kicks, splurging acid and noisy electronic riffs. It's a wild, roller-coaster ride through techno's harder spectrum.
Review: What a year it's been for Perc Trax. The label's long-term championing of harder-edged techno has paid off, with the roster starting to get wider recognition. Manni Dee's contribution to this year in review compilation is the pounding techno of "Gulabi Gang", which comes close to 140bpm and features wild screeches and howls. Scalameriya, another artist championed by the label, drops three tracks that characterise this tough techno sound; "Crucible" is a straight up sheet metal banger, while on "Slobodna" he opts for a noisy industrial approach and "Hellzone Megapunk" is an ear bleed-inducing pounder. I Hate Models is the artist most likely to make the big break though, as the pile-driving acid of "Spreading Plague" and the break beat-led "Martial Order" demonstrate.
Review: The Hague based duo Frank Nitzinsky & Nils van Lingen aka Ghost In The Machine appear next for Perc's outlet for no-holds-barred industrial music. They follow up their break out One Louder EP that came out on the label last summer, plus remixing Perc & Truss' "Leather & Lace". They turned the track 'into a peak-time festival wrecking face-melter.' according to Perc - what a compliment! From the blistering and textural abrasions of "King Dead", functional warehouse techno as heard on "Pile Driver" or the brutalist factory floor stomp of "The Powder Of Love" - this one certainly is not for the faint of heart. The duo continue to head up the Genosha Basic label and touring to great acclaim around Europe.
Review: Rarely appearing away from their own Genosha Basic imprint, The Netherlands' Ghost In The Machine are next up on Perc Trax and carry on with the label's MO for abrasive/no holds barred techno. This EP hits as hard as anything on the label in recent years. Industrial strength grinder "The Holy Grill" leads the charge with its darkly austere elements and one of the meanest Reese basslines you've ever heard. Gnarly body basher "Hold My Drink" pushes the threshold once more, with its overdriven bass drums like a kick to the head, while its metallic textures slice away at you with pure wrath. Ending the sonic torment is "PSKDT" (What Does It Mean?), a cyclical warehouse techno stomper that's perfect for the peak time slot.