TF Archives

Soma's Percy X: Talking Techno (& Band Wagon Jumping)

Author: Jonty Adderley
Friday, July 5, 2002
Named after a character in an obscure Philip K Dick novel, Glasgow's Percy X (real name Tony Scott) is more than just another anonymous techno type. 8 years after signing to Scotland's still highly respected Soma Records, he's one of their star names and attractions, holding his head up justifiably high alongside the label's other key discoveries like Slam and Daft Punk. Like many in the UK techno scene (Dave Clarke and Luke Slater to name just two) he's also been infected by the analogue electro bug (increasingly now dominated by the clumsy generic term, electroclash.) And on his latest artist album, Where's The Music, the infection is clearly audible, though he's no fan of its more obvious practitioners.

"I'll buy the good records but not all of them," he told Skrufff's Jonty Adderley. "I'd almost describe it as gay, drug music."

Skrufff: Your new album is certainly more varied than just being about the hard techno you're best known for, what was your approach-

Percy X: "The vinyl version explains it better in some ways, because one piece of vinyl is more analogue (electro-style) sounding than the other. My whole approach was to be honest about what music I was playing and I've recently been doing a lot of warm-up sets with electro mixed up with looped stuff. People in Glasgow know that I'm not band-wagon jumping, I'm just going with the flow."

Skrufff: Lots of analogue producers and techno DJs like Dave Clarke and Billy Nasty are these days playing electro sets alongside their techno, have you got enthused by this whole Sunglasses At Night electro thing-

Percy X: "I actually didn't like that track, to be honest. I wouldn't mind having it in the bank from a money point of view. I like the early Gigolo stuff such as Vitalic's single last year, but it does go a bit OTT (over the top) with the singing and vocoders. I like the glamour it brings to techno but I'm actually going off it. I'll buy the good records but not all of them. I'd almost describe it as gay, drug music. It is, though there's nothing wrong with that-

Skrufff: Gay drug music...-

Percy X: "I'll probably get grief for saying that. I was obviously influenced by that analogue sound and I started testing the waters with it when I was DJing in places like Spain. I'd be playing Ben Sims style stuff (very hard, looped, serious techno) then I'd be dropping in some analogue stuff and what happened was that the girls were up for it but the guys were just kind of not knowing what to do.

The (techno) sound has separated right now, you've got the electronic guys then the loop guys and only the good ones have survived. Whereas all these new guys like the Hacker and other French guys are coming through. I was trying to do both on the album because that's what I was playing.

One review accused me of band wagon jumping then said I showed my true self towards the end of the album but that's a load of bollocks because it is my true self."

Skrufff: Do you still actively align yourself to techno-

Percy X: "The thing is, what is the techno scene now- What's happened is that the glamour kings have taken over and DJ gigolos are dominating what we would call techno. But there are still a few true techno banging out the true and hard techno, but they're few and far between. In honesty, since September 11 I've spoken to booking agencies and they're 50% down on techno bookings, which might not be to do with that (911) but rather because people are giving up. That's why this glamorous thing is coming through. That has good aspects, they are a lot of good production tricks coming up, they're not just bashing out Donna Summer bass lines."

Skrufff: You record under his name Percy and your new album's title Where's The Music also implies some thought, particularly since you're seen as a techno person, how much energy goes into titles and names-

Percy X: "The reason I used Percy X was because I was signed to another label when I first hooked up with<