- The first single from Perc's forthcoming debut album, Wicker & Steel, "My Head Is Slowly Exploding," does justice to the album's title with an unusually tactile approach to techno, and an unusually stark one as well—six minutes of mortar blasts and a ringing in your ears. It's harrowing: apart from the regular kick drum, the music has been stripped of techno's usual crutches. Everything floats free around the faint, 4/4 vertebrae, and with more space between the beats, you hone in on the particulars of every element—the wide-open train whistle, the crumple of struck metal.
Ancient Methods go at their remix like a charcoal rubbing, filling in the empty spaces with droning, growling synthesizers and emphasizing the beat in quick, violent strokes. There's an echo of breakbeat hardcore in the groove, but the idea has more to do with the clanging percussionist Z'EV.
The other remix comes from Chris Carter, of Throbbing Gristle and Chris and Cosey fame. He's been turning up with increasing frequency in the contemporary electronic scene, with a recent reissue on Optimo and remixes, with Cosey Fanni Tutti, for Excepter. From the sound of things here, he understands techno better than most of the producers currently associated with the genre. Drawing out skeletal drum patterns and staccato synth tones over just a hint of a downbeat, he achieves more genuine tension than the most ashen, pummeling, by-the-numbers industrial techno cut. While nagging tri-tone riffs and nervous 16th-note patter stretch out like electric filament, the proportions of the thing blow out like soft glass. It's the head exploding as viewed from inside, in perfect, crystalline, stop-time motion.
A1 My Head Is Slowly Exploding
A2 My Head Is Slowly Exploding (Ancient Methods Remix)
B My Head Is Slowly Exploding (Chris Carter Remix)