Hailing from Hertfordshire, England, Perc, aka Ali Wells, began his musical assault out of the Home Counties from a young age. Being in indie bands influenced by the likes of Ned’s Atomic Dustbin and Wonderstuff at the age of 13, Perc was a self-confessed indie kid until the age of 16. Awakened to the sounds of the burgeoning '90s rave scene by his older brother, Perc left the guitars behind and began DJ'ing — he also bought his first drum machine (a Roland TR626) the day after his GCSE results. At 18, he left the southeast and began a course on sound engineering at Newcastle University, where he started to produce techno influenced by producers Carl Cox and Jeff Mills. Teaming up with a fellow student, he became part of DriveSpace, his first electronic outfit. Shortly after finishing his degree, he moved to London and began performing and recording under the name Perc.
In 2002, he released his debut single, “I Make Nuclear,” on the Easy Space label, as well as releasing a couple of 12”s on Premier Sounds in 2003. In 2004, he created his own label, Perc Trax, and between then and 2012 saw releases coming from the likes of Sawf, Truss, Forward Strategy Group, Ekoplekz, and Perc himself. Throughout the latter part of the 2000s, Perc Trax established itself as the dark and hypnotic purveyor of driving techno and deep tech grooves. Perc himself described his own sound as “Droney, industrial-tinged techno. A mixture of 4/4 and broken beat stuff,” and declared himself a fan of early industrial and post-punk, with Cabaret Voltaire and Throbbing Gristle being major influences.
In 2009, he released "Throb" on Ovum and "Submit" on CLR, but it was his 2010 release, "Monad V" on Stroboscopic Artefacts, that made techno aficionados sit up and take notice of his productions. A major draw on the European and world techno live circuit for fearless DJ sets and his live act, he released his debut album, Wicker & Steel, in 2011. The album fused occult and pagan mystery — as well as '70s British horror films — with punishing, chopped, and pounding drum-driven techno, and was described by Guardian scribe Tony Naylor as “a bleak audio montage of modern Britain.” It went on to be featured on many end-of-the-year best-of lists. The track “My Head Is Slowly Exploding” was remixed by Throbbing Gristle's Chris Carter and techno legends Ancient Methods. Such collaborations cemented Perc's status as one of the torch bearers for the future of modern techno.
Singles and EPs continued on Perc Trax, Sleaze Records, and Stroboscopic (a split 12" with Xhin) in 2012. In 2013, Perc collaborated with Adam X (aka Traversable Wormhole) under the name AX&P; an EP titled Ampere&Ohm was released on a label of the same name. Perc also released Spiker, the first of several collaborations with Truss, in addition to issuing an EP of his remixes of tracks by Einstürzende Neubauten, Interpretations. Perc's second full-length The Power & the Glory arrived in 2014, receiving much critical acclaim. Additional 12"s followed on Perc Trax and Stroboscopic, in addition to collaborations with Randomer, Passarella Death Squad, and further work with Truss and Adam X. Perc's third album, Bitter Music, arrived in 2017. ~ Aneet Nijjar