Having been an avid follower of Perc Trax's output over the years, Blacklight’s second outing since its return looked to be a straight forward showcase for techno in its rawest form. As it turned out, no amount of preparation could have readied the mind and body for the audio assault which unfolded within Mint Club.
Blacklight followed from where they left off by welcoming one of the most extreme and prolific labels in underground techno scene, Perc Trax. Of course, to truly showcase the ethos and sound of the label, Blacklight enlisted label head Perc to demonstrate his style of forward thinking and uncompromising music. With an EP set to be released on the label, joining Perc was Manchester’s hardest duo AnD, on hand to demonstrate why they are fast rising the ranks in the world of techno.
Upon arrival Blacklight Resident and promoter Tiptoe was already well immersed into his set, speedily shifting between fast paced driving techno rollers. Despite the sparse amount of bodies on the dance floor, the usual Blacklight following of seasoned techno veterans were present, keen and energetic for the night ahead. Jay Knight and resident Omid followed, frantically pushing the tempos way above 130bpm. Finishing with Dax J’s Utopia, Omid created the perfect party atmosphere before the Perc took to the mixer.
Ali Wells came to front with a menacing demeanour (despite his humble attitude), griping the crowd from the off and hammering them with each thundering kick. The minimal lighting added to the industrial textures the Perc Trax boss is ominously know for, with the constant metallic jittering rattling the brain of each dancer in the room. Perc pounded through his set of mechanical thumpers; paying homage to his 90’s hardcore roots through a new track co-produced with label mate Truss, Leather and Lace. Much like many of his associates, Perc opted for the use of Ableton over CDjs, allowing him to mix and loop multiple tracks at once making for a more intricate and unique experience.
Nearing 5am, it was time for AnD to step up to the table. Anticipation of how the disreputable ‘Ard Core Krew’ would follow considering the live nature of their set (as well as Dimitri coming as a one-man army) was beginning to grow. From the off, the AnD man established that this was to be a full-blown attack, cutting between the rigid percussion and deranged arpeggiated synth work the duo is synonymous with. Rather than subtly tweaking with filters and modulation, (a common feature of many live sets) the Mancunian forcefully engaged his euro-rack and drum machines creating a raw energy that is often not possible through a live set
A quick scan of the room and it was easy to see those in attendance were consumed by the sounds of the rubbery, gabber-esque kick drum emitting from the speakers; fully inspiring all inhibitions to be lost to the music. Once more Blacklight had succeeded in putting the brain cells to the test by trial of techno from the darkest side of the spectrum.
Words by Ross Scarth
Photos courtesy of Blacklight