In our second live Exchange from Electron 2014, we dig deep into political techno and the appeal of industrial with Ali Wells.
Ali Wells is techno to the core and a go-to for devastatingly effective club tracks. But the route he takes there is increasingly less of a straight line. Sometime around his highly regarded 2011 debut album, Wicker & Steel, his music took on a new dimension—it was still very much a techno record, but its atmosphere and edgy compositional touches suggested a context well beyond the nightclub. More industrial textures began creeping into the music he was producing and putting out; the Submit Records offshoot of Perc Trax, for example, kicked off with four Perc reworks of Einstürzende Neubauten.
His latest, The Power And The Glory, takes Perc's evolving sound further into that noisy, dark space. It's a record full of powerful, cathartic moments, and much has been made of the politics underlying the music. It made for a great jumping-off point when we caught up with Wells at this year's Electron festival in Geneva.