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Selections: DJ Perception

In this series, Selections, we invite DJs, producers and label heads to dig into their digital crates and share the contents of their collections. This week, DJ Perception dives into his record bag for deep cut garage gems

Want to hear UK garage tracks that you’ve never heard before? Get yourself down to a DJ Perception set. A true UKG obsessive, his crate-digging credentials are second to none, rooting out ultra-rare cuts and often going straight to the source, acquiring dubplates and DATs from producers that nobody else has.

]His own productions are nothing to sniff at either, arriving over the last half-decade or so via labels like Rhythm N Vibe, Bluff Records and Timehri — the latter of which released his ‘Journey To The Star’ album in 2022. Eight tracks of minimalist garage perfection, as the title suggests the whole body of work is tied together with a twinkling otherworldly feel. This is most obvious on the title track, with its fluttering harp, and the lush, laidback ‘Jupiter’s Legacy’. But even on darker cuts like the bumping ‘Asteroid Field’, the slow and eerie ‘Darkside’, and ‘Space Yardie’, with its deliciously squelchy bassline, there’s a sense of endless interstellar wonder conveyed through delicate atmospherics and a welcoming of the space between the beats.

Perception’s latest arrives via a limited-edition lathe cut for his own Moodswing label. With its moody melody, cascading pads and shifting subs, ‘Heater’ has a mysterious tone about it, like the soundtrack to a film noir flick set in early ’00s London. Flipside ‘Don’t Know What To Do!’ delivers a rock-solid rolling beat, more heavyweight low-end and soulful vocal snippets that elevate the whole affair. Here, DJ Perception offers up 10 cuts from his hallowed record bag that you can actually get your hands on too.

‘Cascadia Dubs EP’ [Vibesey Records]

“This is Tanyn’s second release on Vibesey, and it’s wicked. Pick of the tracks for me is ‘U R Tha 1’. I love the sound of that track, the drums are rolling and it reminds me of old-skool garage.”

Dr. Shemp
‘The Reignited EP’ [Vibesey Records]

“Second release on the list from Vibesey, who have been killing it since their first release. Here’s Dr. Shemp with a four-track EP that has great energy and [works] perfectly on the dancefloor.”

Jay Ward / Dubplate Pressure
‘Never Gonna Change’ / ‘One Wish’ [Amigo Dubs]

“The B-side here ‘One Wish’ is one of my personal favourite tracks, I love everything about it. Jay and Jason Ward kill it every single time without fail.”

Flexx Gruvs
‘Flexx Gruvs Vol. 2’ [White label]

“Flexx Gruvs returns with ‘Vol. 2’ and picks up right where he left off. Another favourite of mine, has a real underground feel to it.”

Peekay / Jon Fernández & UK Dubzz feat. Clay
‘I Feel It’ / ‘U Return’ [2TUF4U Records]

“Peekay’s track ‘I Feel It’ is everything I love about garage. The production is very on point. Absolutely wicked tune.”

Available here.

The Chris Simmonds Project
‘Work It’ [FRL Classic Edition]

“2023 repress of a stone-cold classic. This track takes me back to my teen years. I had a recording of it on a cassette tape recorded off pirate radio, great memories.”

Knights Of Illusion
‘Volume Two’ [Vibesey Records]

“Vibesey Records again, this one from Knights Of Illusion with their second release on it. Love ‘Ruff Necks’ in particular, it’s what I call proper garage and fits well in my sets.”

‘Deep Pressure’ [Existence Is Resistance]

“Re-release from the 1997 original. I love the title track because it sounds very unique, which makes it stand out from the usual format.”

Chris Mack feat. Donna Mack
‘Ride It’ [Old Soul Records]

“I love an exclusive and this track recently got released. It was originally made in 1998, so to hear it now for the first time was a great feeling.”

‘Distant Skies’ [Timehri Records]

“Wicked EP from my good friend Highrise and on my good friend T Dunn’s label. The track always goes down well in my sets and is seriously well produced.”