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Iâ€™ve always liked theÂ PercÂ name the most. The other names were just created as some of the labels I was working with early in my career wanted artist names that were exclusive to their labels. Thankfully this does not happen so much now and artists are free to record for multiple labels using the same recording name.
Hmmm I would not say I represent Hardtek; there is a lot of techno out that that is much harder or faster than what I make and play. Look at something like Pet Duo. When I was younger I started listening to pop music on the radio, then indie and grunge, this led to rave / hardcore which in turn led me to house and techno. Now I listen to a lot of things, some very commercial pop music to more abstract noise and experimental releases.
I was feeling some dissatisfaction with the political system in the UK at the time of writing the album, but it is a more personal album thatÂ Wicker & Steel. It is about the power within a person and what one person can achieve. The roughness is part of the currentÂ PercÂ sound but it might reduce as time goes on. I like to keep evolving so it is not like every album I do will get more and more noisy and experimental. The last thing I want to be is predictable.
Iâ€™ve know Nik and the rest of Factory Floor for some time now. They remixedÂ Forward Strategy GroupÂ onÂ PercÂ Trax a few years ago and I remixed their trackÂ Two Different WaysÂ for DFA in 2012. Nik comes from a more art and experimental background whilst I arrived here though techno and UK industrial music. I think we share some ideas about music but I think more of the dancefloor whilst Nik has more of an overall artistic vision of what she is doing.
Why would I move to Berlin? I get asked this a lot and seems like such a strange question. There are many reasons to choose a place to live in. I know Berlin has an interesting art and music scene but if the dominating factor in where you live is how cheap the rents are then you really need to step back and look at your priorities in life. London inspires me as it is my home, but if I lived somewhere else my music would still sound the same. Â My music comes from me not from the city around me.
I use the same stuff as a lot of electronic musicians. Ableton Live and some hardware drum machines and effects. I like to think that when I make something that sounds like someone else I stop right there and delete it, not continue with it to fit in with the existing techno scene. There is a lot of subtle tweaking and randomization in my music, sounds and rhythms change all the time giving the illusion of a full length live performance, rather than a 1-bar loop repeated for 6 minutes. To make music that has a human element and which is always changing is a main aim of mine. I donâ€™t use a lot of field recordings or recordings of long percussion or instrument performances and I like to work on music by deleting or thinning sounds, not continually building things up.
I think their spontaneity is through the group coming together to play live, improvise and jam. Mine is through months of lonely studio work using a computer to simulate a full length live performance! I think people like myself and Nik Void and Neubauten have very different ways in which we approach our music but somewhere near the middle is a small patch of shared common ground.
No one is exclusive toÂ PercÂ Trax and both Forward Strategy Group and Sawf have recorded EP for other labels. I try and work with artists who I can get on with personally as well as who I respect musically. If I release an artistâ€™s music and then meet them and I donâ€™t connect with them personally or I find them rude or arrogant then I probably wonâ€™t ask them to do anything else for the label, no matter how good their music is. This makes my life easier and less stressful and if I have artists playing at aÂ PercÂ Trax showcase somewhere in the world I know they will not embarrass the label by being rude or demanding.
There is a rough sound to most of the labelâ€™s output and of course it is techno focused but any music is welcome onÂ PercÂ Trax as long as it appeals to me. I like to think there is more personality toÂ PercÂ Trax than some other techno labels. Everything from the tracks titles to the artwork to the choice of remixers used is done to try to differentiateÂ PercÂ Trax from the mass of identikit industrial techno labels out there. The current explosion of fairly generic industrial techno is the one thing pushingÂ PercÂ Trax further away from that sound as 2014 continues.
Of course the Paris scene and the French scene is interesting to me. I think Paris is much better now for clubbing than it was 5 years ago, more musical styles are being embraced, not just the electro sound of Ed Banger and Justice and this has to be a positive thing for all genres of electronic music.