Optimo Music have revealed details of the long promised collaborative release between Factory Floor and cult New York musician Peter Gordon.
Factory Floor is a fitting name. It calls to mind the rusty grates in the basement sex club of Berghain, the metallic killing floors of slaughterhouses and the sneaker-scuffed concrete of assembly line stations. Just as ‘industrial music’ evokes a very clear idea of abrasive repetition, the London three-piece’s name evokes their whirling amalgamation of drone, ambient and experimental techno.
Factory Floor will release Fall Back next month, a 12″ taster for their forthcoming debut album on DFA.
Welcome to Separate Mind, a new monthly column on Juno Plus that aims to cover techno music in its many hues and shades. In an era when every minor development, each tone or tweak to a kick drum is compartmentalised into a new micro-genre, Separate Mind takes the opposite approach. This column will keep its coverage as open-ended as possible, lending support to releases on the basis of whether or not the music deserves it and not because it fits into a narrative arrived at by consensus among so-called influencers.
It’s payback time for Perc as he shifts roles from label A&R to remixer – but can his work across three remixes match up to the Factory Floor remixes of Forward Strategy Group? It’s hard to answer, not least because the reworkings from Butler, Colk and Gurnsey of tracks from Labour Division were subtle and insidious, while Perc chooses a more upfront approach to repay the favour.
Nik Void and Gabe Gurnsey of industrial synth outfit Factory Floor have collaborated with cult New York composer and saxophonist Peter Gordon.
Unsound’s reputation for onpoint curation just got a whole stronger with an impressive third round of names added to the already bulging line-up.
Here’s some news nobody was expecting: two of British techno’s most uncompromising producers appearing on one DFA release.
Dalston’s annual Land Of Kings festival has reached its fourth year – and Juno Plus have a pairs of tickets to give away to the two day long festivities.
Having stirred up quite a fervour in their native London, Factory Floor make the leap from a string of well-received releases on underground labels to 21st century no wave mecca, DFA. ‘No wave mecca’ of course grossly undersells DFA and the spread the label has supported and released over the years, but to these ears the spirit of the music they release comes from a direct lineage with the New York post-punk disco manglations so immortalised by ESG, Dinosaur L and Liquid Liquid.
Likewise, Factory Floor have a definite lineage to their sound, and it doesn’t stray too far from those early 80s 4/4 grooves. The slinky funk basslines and choppy guitars are ditched in favour of cold, hard synthesiser tones, and delivered with beyond-the-grave vocals to die for, catching that perfectly sterile sexuality that made the best synth-pop of the 80s so alluring.
However, there’s no need to dismiss “Two Different Ways” as a throwback track. The assured way in which the arpeggio kicks off proceedings stands strong enough on its own, even after decades of use in various capacities. The track as a whole is an eight minute workout around that nagging refrain, sustaining the groove and using it as a launch pad for various kinds of effects tweakery, drone bashing and general good-time analogue experimentation. What saves the music from being just too familiar is the lack of contrivance. At no point does it sound like the band are playing it this way because they think it’s the cool thing to do.
The flipside only reinforces this notion, with the raw, stripping-down of the ‘Second Way’ mix. The drum machine does most of the work here, with very little space spared for musicality. The hits are brittle, liable to splinter at any point, while the occasional dubby FX only add to the tension. With a purist and highly sexed approach to their music, and the results to match, there’s no doubt that Factory Floor have plenty more disco devastators in their bop gun.
Mute Records is one of the most successful independent British labels still in operation, having been formed in 1978 and still going strong today. As such, their discography is broad, and not an easy one to find a way into for the uninitiated. The last 10 years have seen them release high profile records from Moby and Goldfrapp, as well as less accessible, but still equally as significant albums from Grinderman and Liars, but it’s easy to forget that their beginnings were rooted in the industrial sounds of the early 80s. Label founder Daniel Miller originally formed Mute to put out his first single as The Normal, and subsequent years saw him release similarly dark electronic music by Fad Gadget, D.A.F. and Depeche Mode. It was at this time that Mute’s initial musical aesthetic was formed, one that married the fury of punk rock with the electronic elements of the burgeoning synth pop movement.
Factory Floor’s career to date has seen a thrilling graduation from the Joy Division leanings of their early material such as Outside Sound – “Bipolar” in particular – to modern day sonic terrorists feted by everyone from Throbbing Gristle’s Carter and Tutti to respected disco jockeys like Rory Phillips and Stopmakingme.
This coming of age was fully signposted by last year’s thumping “Lying” – a track that demonstrated the London trio are one of a few bands in today’s climate whose sole priority seems to be how far they can push the sonic envelope whilst retaining a sense of rhythm and melody. Factory Floor releasing “Real Love” on the Optimo Music imprint seems like such a perfect fit and we can only hope that the relationship results in more than this sole release together.
As with all Factory Floor material, “Real Love” is perhaps best heard live as part of panoramic Quadrophonic Sound rig the band currently employ, but here on vinyl it still packs a veritable sonic punch to your guts – driven by a throbbing industrial synth arpeggio that rises and falls amidst a multitude of sonic crescendos and backed with the hypnotic vocal leanings of Nik Void.
With the original so close to harsh perfection, there are few people on this earth who could match or even better the track, amongst them JD Twitch – a man familiar with abrasive rhythms (as anyone who has heard his under appreciated hoover rave remix of Dave P & Adam Sparkles can testify). The Optimo Espacio remix can only be described as jaw droppingly monstrous – applying that arpeggiated lead to a rising cloak of sensory destroying sonics which seem specifically designed for that elation filled moment of dancefloor ecstasy where people have forgotten everything apart from the primal urge to dance.