Album Reviews - Reviews

Factory Floor – Factory Floor

factory flor

For a band that has been on the scene since 2008, Factory Floor don’t exactly have the extensive back catalogue that one would normally associate with an act so experimental and cutting-edge; dare I utter that old chestnut. Be that as it may, what they have perhaps lacked in frequency of output has been solidly countered by the consistent quality of their music. Factory Floor are an outfit that own their sound, and as such, it’s not really surprising that their latest self-titled full-length comes courtesy of DFA; the brain child of James Murphy (LCD Soundsystem) and friends, and the label responsible for The Rapture, Shit Robot and a decent slice of Hot Chip releases – Certainly not the worst bunch to call your peers.

At first glance the track listing shows a couple of familiar songs nestled in amongst some new electro-industrial gems. ‘Two Different Ways’ and ‘Fall Back’ are gloriously revised and mastered to great effect, so what looks like a cop-out material wise, really isn’t. The former, having done the rounds in sweaty techno dungeons in the form of a Perc remix EP sounds fresher. The arpeggiating chord stabs are intense and vigorous but Nik Colk Void shines on microphone duties. Her vocals are detached, melodically uneven; and that’s the point.  The latter is cut from the same black, oily cloth. Dark and futuristic, there is some mirroring of Kraftwerk‘s bleaker moments, but again, that’s the intended effect.

‘One’, ‘Two’ and ‘Three’ act as refrains on the album. No points here for title originality, but they do well in emphasising the dynamic of the album. The band have been described as “post-industrial noise” and these refrains are – you guessed it – the noise; well manufactured noise to be exact.  ‘How You Say’ is a highlight. It’s a near perfect example of the way in which Factory Floor operate. There is a fierce, analog synth line that has its own rhythm, adding an insistent twist to the already dark, ruthless beat. Overall, the repetitive vocals and nature of the track represent something not quite techno and not quite industrial, but somewhere in between where androids have turned on their human operators and made music from it: sweet, frightening music.

Considering the album is a sort of ‘proper’ debut, it’s a strong start. There are tracks here for fans of industrial, techno, noise and house –  however, considering it isn’t really a debut, the inclusion of two previously released tracks might leave you wanting something more, even though they are bloody good. It’s a danceable effort and feels like the sort of album that’s going to be heard in some of the more forward-thinking club nights around the place – sooner rather than later, hopefully. Aaron Drain 

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