Ali Wells is just about to release his new EP A New Brutality, which follows one of the finest LPs of 2011: Wicker & Steel. Once again under his Perc umbrella, it’s all about industrial, noise and techno – a mixture which recently also attracted someone over at The Guardian. Check it out for yourself in a preview released on Soundcloud below, and get into Perc while reading his 10×4 he did with us.
1. Is any aspect of fame important and if yes, why’s that?
Recognition for what I do is important to me, as it pushes to work harder and keep raising my standards, but whether that is different to fame is another question. I am not ashamed to admit that I like people coming up to me and asking if I am Perc or that they saw me play at a club recently and enjoyed it. These are people that like me purely for my music or djing rather than people that just approach someone because they saw them in a magazine or on TV, so of course it is flattering.
2. If you were still in high school, which clique would you belong to?
I would like to believe I would be part of the clique that was a bit nerdy and techy but still pretty cool, making music, putting on events etc. More likely I would probably be that weird tall guy listening to moody music who would be getting his head flushed down the bog daily if he wasn’t 7-foot tall.
3. An album that changed the way you thought?
Run DMC – Raising Hell. I owned about 4 or 5 pop/rock albums (on cassette) before I stumbled upon this thanks to ‘Walk This Way’. The beats, attitude and design style were something new to me. I must have got it a few years after release but looking back it certainly opened my mind to the kind of aggressive, sampled sounds that returned when hardcore blew up in the UK.
4. What does underground and mainstream mean to you?
These terms are pretty meaningless to me. There are so many people on Facebook talking up their own brand of ‘underground techno’, ‘real techno’, ‘true techno’ etc and most of it is shit. Purposely aiming to be underground and under promoting the music you release under a veil of anonymity is actually more contrived and false than being open about the fact that you are making accessible music aimed squarely at the mainstream.
5. Should music be free?
Not by definition, it should be up to the creator/copyright owner to decide how to package it and how much to charge or whether they want to give it away. That is the thing that bugs me the most about piracy. Whether you like it or not we live in a capitalist society and if I want to give my music away for free that is my choice and if I want to charge two pounds or even two hundred pounds for an mp3 download then that is also my choice. Piracy removes that choice for the creator and forces a whole new set of circumstances on a label.
On the flip side of this are labels reacting to piracy and the ‘music should be free’ mindset by adding needless products to their musical releases to add ‘worth’ which most of the time I see as pure profiteering. When I pay for music, I want the music and of course I am happy to pay for the physical format that holds it, the cd, the 12” vinyl etc. I don’t want to be forced into buying a boxset handstitched by Amazonian pygmies containing 8 hand drawn, individually numbered postcards for £80 just to get an album that should sold for £12. By all means make ornate box sets but when there is no cheaper option and that is the only way to own the music then I get the rage.
6. What defines your music-making process?
Long hours of ‘this is shit, everything is shit’ – before a eureka moment occurs and then it is a gallop to the finish line before the magic dissipates into the air once again.
7. Name three essential artists.
Barbara Hepworth, William Blake, Albert Steptoe.
8. A film or book that greatly influenced your music?
The Wicker Man, I go on about it a lot but even after searching for similar British films from that period there is still something about it that seems unique to me and it looms over my production work almost too heavily at times.
9. Your current favourite song?
If we are talking songs rather than tracks then this Plaid remix of Mara Carlyle is something I listen to when I need a break. I was not mad on the recent Plaid album and it is rare for me to like this kind of thing but this hits the mark for me:
10. One thing you can’t live without?
Bourbon biscuits, coupled with a pint of milk they form a cheap, scummy, super-unhealthy snack that makes any day a million times better.
Say hello to the LOL Boys and their exquisite bass-heavy music, which is topped with all you need for a perfect summer chill: Chicago house and disco tunes flavored with tropical tendencies. LOL Boys are one-half Canadian (living in Montreal) and American (LA-based) and have been around for some years now. Gaining recognition as local heroes of the tripped-out post-disco scene and with last year’s remarkable Bubbles EP (grab for free here) the Boys are close to dropping their next EP Changes later this summer.. Here’s their 10×4 9×4.
1. Your most memorable show?
This is a tough one, but playing Piknic Electronik last year in Montreal was an amazing experience. The party is on an island in the middle of city and the vibe is exactly what you would want for an outdoor show.
2. What goes in your coffee?
We drink our coffee black.
4. Write a non-promotional paragraph.
Once upon a time, I spied on you. Bud Light Lime in my hand, and I stand over there, and listen to your little lies about your cool life. You say she will be your wife, but I am. Whites red, irises brown, and your eyes wide. You apologize to me when I see you do a line, but like, I’m open-minded and it’s fine. I don’t do the shit, but I don’t really mind it. I’m not heartless but I’m hardened, a rotten rooth. It’s my party, couldn’t cry if I anted to. And the more you taunt me the more I think I’m wanting you. And ever since, you’re the prince, and I’m the one that’s haunting you.
5. A film or book that greatly influenced your music?
Home Alone and Say Cheese and Die! by R.L. Stine.
7. Do you believe in the paranormal?
I think the fact that we exist within this universe is paranormal. So yes, I suppose.
8. Are you interested in politics?
9. Raging or chilling out?
Chilling out while raging.
10. One thing you can’t live without?
The Internet, of course.
Here some gorgeous new sounds by Califonia-raised, NYC-based bedroom musician Peter Segerstrom, with hints of Frisco’s Tycho and our local (Berlin) hero Apparat. Segerstrom has already opened for Matthew Dear, Richie Hawtin, Plaid, John Tejada, and The Field. Under his Portable Sunsets moniker he’s also done studio work with Richard Devine, Venitian Snare, Alva Noto and many others. Next month his eagerly anticipated debut LP, Mercy, will be released through LA producer Daedelus’s label Magical Properties. Here our 10×4 for your reading pleasure:
1. If you were still in high school, which clique would you belong to?
I am still a goth at heart.
3. What does underground and mainstream mean to you?
Great question, so much has changed because of the communication capabilities of the internet. I hope people are able to bring down the walls of genre and fashion and just enjoy good music no matter where it comes from. That being said, I deeply believe in underground parties and what they represent. Electronic music culture is really important as a universal language.
4. Should music be free?
Another great question and completely related to the one above. We collectively are going to have to work out some sort of economic model for music as we continue down this information super highway. There are a lot of people who don’t make music who earn their livings off of music who are thinking very hard about this right now. To the traditional music industry, the fact that any piece of information is freely distributable now is merely a detour from their path of commerce. What many don’t seem to realize is that distribution systems have narrative—”the medium is the message,” as McLuhan said. A pirated mp3 landing on your computer from a server somewhere in eastern Europe has a completely different story than when you walk to a record store and buy a record. We are still working out what that value is. In this way an LP in mp3 format obviously should not cost $10 in the same way an actual LP would cost $10 or $20. Hopefully as we continue to move towards economic transparency, systems will evolve that are sustainable. Currently most of what we have is the anarchic space of the internet and a bunch of lawyers who work with the RIAA who are convinced that each mp3 downloaded is worth $5000 in economic losses to the holding company who hired them.
5. What defines your music-making process?
I guess iteration… And a lot of walking. I usually write a bunch of tracks together and just slowly try to pull something out of each of them that I like. I really like the idea of running your attention over a piece of music like the ocean or a river. Shaping something by repeated listening.
6. A film or book that greatly influenced your music?
Oddly when I was growing up my parent’s had a copy of the soundtrack to the movie Out of Africa with Meryl Streep and Robert Redford. My sister and I referred to this tape as ‘sleepy music’ and my parents would put it on whenever we drove. It probably drove them nuts because I wanted to listen to it all the time. I recently went back and listened to it and it hasn’t aged too well (It’s pretty cloyingly sweet). But it was profound driving through fields and listening to strings. Oh and Blade Runner and Neuromancer. Duh.
7. Your current favorite song?
Too many! There is this one Tevo Howard track that I can’t get over and Brazil by Luke Abbott I think I have actually listened to several hundred times. Also I pretty much always have Moomin and Chris Rau on repeat.
8. Do you believe in the paranormal?
Absolutely. There are so many things we can’t explain. Why assume you understand everything?
9. One thing you can’t live without?
Going outside at least 2 or 3 times a day. The sun. And coffee.
10. Together, or alone?
We are forever alone but I am blessed in that I love virtually everyone in my life.
Among the many upcoming labels in Vienna, Schönbrunner Perlen shines in ways befitting to its name. Their first release, a collaboration between Ken Hayakawa and Herb Piper, still has us cheering every time it gets played (not to mention the equally promising SP 02).
And if you take a look at the line-up of Schönbrunner Perlen Label-Night at Fluc next week, you’ll get an idea of just what we can expect in the upcoming months.
All this excitement got us to thinking: We’ve been listening to so much Ken Hayakawa, it’s about time we got to know him a bit better. Which is why we sent him this questionnaire:
Favourite part of the day to create?
Method or madness?
Most influential person?
First musical love?
….Selected Ambient Works by Aphex Twin and many more….
Last musical love?
Hercules & Love Affair – Painted Eyes
One thing you’d gladly live without ?
The “Pausenrap” 😉
Last thing that inspired you?
A strange percussion wood melo shaker I got from my girlfriend
Schönbrunner Perlen Label Night
March 24th, Fluc
If you are into electronic music and living in Vienna but haven’t heard about the Schönbrunner Techno-crew you’ll probably have the pleasure of spending eternity in Satan’s filthy hot pit for missing out. This is because they are a collective consisting of some of Vienna’s finest DJ’s and producers of techno, house and all its sub-genres. They also set up their own label and released a personal favourite of mine and others in 2011: ‘Japanese Rose’.
The person responsible for this track is Ken Hayakawa, but he didn’t do it alone! Herb Piper co-produced the track which is why we decided to roll the 10 x 4 questionnaire across the quiet guy in the background. We recommend you also check out Schönbrunner Perlen 001 Remixed which was released in December and look forward to SP002, which will be released on January 28th.
Favourite part of the day to create?
I love sitting the whole night in front of my equipment and working on tracks and new ideas. Then I completely fall into music and nothing else exists. I even forget to eat and drink when I´m working on new stuff.
First musical love?
As a child I really enjoyed listening to the audio drama cassettes about Mozart, Strauss and Schubert. I think this was my first musical love.
Last musical love?
One thing you cannot live with out?
One thing you would live without if you could?
Definitely the piano.
Love of your life?
Music so far.
The new Viennese based label “schönbrunner perlen”.
A place to create?
One day I want to make a track in one of these typical Viennese coffeehouses. Catch the atmosphere and put it into the music. But till then I´m producing music at home or in Ken Hayakawa’s studio.