Album Review: Factory Floor – S/T

The first time Factory Floor caught my attention was back in 2008 when they released the single “Bipolar”, a track very derivative of Joy Division and very repetitive, it was probably more interesting for its odd arrangement and muffled yelling …
By Liam Harrison

The first time Factory Floor caught my attention was back in 2008 when they released the single “Bipolar”, a track very derivative of Joy Division and very repetitive, it was probably more interesting for its odd arrangement and muffled yelling instead of the actual music on display. Looking back and re-evaluating it now though makes clear how the group transformed themselves into their current Detroit Techno and Minimal Wave-influenced sound via influences from very different but equally brilliant post-punk groups, in particular Throbbing Gristle and Cabaret Voltaire. The repetition and drone element of their earlier work has stayed but all emphasis on guitars has been lost, but without doubt this is certainly for the better – this is what makes the songs themselves sound so fresh and exciting, something that makes the group feel completely unique in 2013.

The first listen to this LP will prove a little overwhelming for some, but this works in the album’s favour as it leaves you hearing new depths with every listen. This makes the album demanding but ultimately a very rewarding listen, much like The Knife’s Shaking the Habitual earlier this year. Tracks like the reworked singles “Fall Back” and “Two Different Ways” are especially relentless and heavy and none of the other “proper” songs on this album fall below the 6 minute mark either, but welcome breaks from the noise are scattered throughout the album coming in the form of three brilliant short instrumental tracks, titled simply “One”, “Two” and “Three”. These brief bursts show the group experimenting further and dabbling with completely different sounds, but with equally mesmerising results. Perhaps some of the finest experimentation on the album comes from Nik Colk’s distorted and manipulated vocals which are constantly shifting, keeping the listener on their toes through the alienating but endlessly intriguing beats which repeat throughout the tracks.

Factory Floor is well worth the long wait and makes for an extremely impressive debut – every track on this album is an absolute gem and is essential listening. This makes it almost certainly one of the very finest albums of the year and without doubt the future cult classic the group wanted to make.