Perc & Modern Heads – Dax review

It is true to say that in the past year, there has been a swing away from the purist-influenced narrative that dominated techno and towards something less easily definable but nonetheless darker and more industrial. Certainly, this release is a meeting of contemporary techno’s most adventurous minds. In one corner we have Stroboscopic Artefacts, the label run by Berlin-based Lucy, the outlet that has joined Prologue at the forefront of dense, textured techno and Modern Heads, aka Dino Sabatini and Gianluca Meloni, one of the acts representing this sound.

In the other corner stands Perc, aka Ali Wells, one of the most prolific yet diverse producers of recent years. Although Wells favours a more abrasive sound, this release sees both styles meet in the middle. “Mendax” is a driving track, taking the listener into a never-ending tunnel bathed in grey light. Eventually, this lifts to reveal oncoming sheet metal percussion, but then Modern Heads bring the listener back into a sonic soup with their trademark, dense textures. “Percdax” and “Modax” draw more heavily on Perc’s sound: based on more shuffling, dubstep rhythms, the pounding, almost distorted basslines, heavy claps and eerie sound scapes ensure that the need for a straight kick is negated. That said, if these tracks don’t move you, nothing will.

Richard Brophy