On the other two Perc titles I’m currently dry-humping — the hellish/thick Monad V, released via the Stroboscopic Artefacts label, and Vertigo One, a collection of remixes, including a pair from Milton Bradley, who himself is a beast — Perc is in construction mode. The producer erects industrial grooves as dense, mammoth and rumbling as mining machinery. He’s a lot like Ancient Methods in that respect.
On the “Antifunk” / “Purple” twelve-inch, however, Perc opts for deconstruction. Instead of blowing-out the basic components of 1980s dancefloor industrial (battering-ram drum machines, dystopian robo-synths and the clanging cacophony of grease-stained men whacking archaic plumbing with massive monkey wrenches), he grinds them into severely minimal abstractions. The low-end murk that’s so much a part of Monad V and Vertigo One is nowhere to be heard. This allows the concentrated power embedded in these components to emerge. The beats are still humongous, of course, but their taught and rather wiry, too.
“Antifunk” is anything but — at least to those of us who find funk in such exquisitely inhuman music. The kickdrum bounces hard; the hi-hats, meanwhile, spit barbed static at intervals that are tightly regulated. What’s cool is just how traditional this track is in terms of honoring the industrial form. At first blush, Perc’s radical manipulations are the first qualities I latched on to — modern music, modern times. Yet he very cleverly keeps “Antifunk” tethered to its industrial history, specifically the Portion Control / Krupps / Fad Gadget zone circa ’85. The most overtly industrial touches are the hammer-to-anvil percussion and the clipped human breaths, both of which pass through a faint dubby ether on occasion.
“Purple” is the funkier of the two, actually. It’s also more engaging. Where “Antifunk” follows a fairly basic narrative (build > breakdown > build again), its flipside is a tug-of-war, one that never resolves itself, between turmoil and an eerie tranquility. The two extremes just kind of stalk each other in precarious stalemate. The cowbells, big, of course, stutter uneasily; they also seem to multiply vertically as the track progresses. The kickdrum, while powerful and surefooted, isn’t without its flagrant lapses in duty. Concurrently, waves of gothic synths, an uncanny tonic I suppose, float like wraiths over the near-chaos underneath them. At midway point, all action dissolves, this just long enough for a compacted orgy of human breaths and moans to emerge. They wind up hanging around ’til party’s end.
It’s funny. Whenever I finish pulverizing myself with this 12″ I sit back and with ears ringing, begin waxing philosophic on the nebulous nature of genre classification, something Perc brutally dismisses with these two more-than-sturdy tracks, both of which possess the fundamentals of techno and industrial. Very cool.