Factory Floor – ‘Factory Floor’

Brain-bludgeoning electro brutalism, worth waiting for

Where is a good place to start?” demands the sinister droid on ‘Turn It Up’, the opening track of Factory Floor’s self-titled debut. And for this bunch of slackers, it’s a good question. Three years have passed since the trio’s last meaningful recorded output, 2010’s four-track ‘Untitled’ EP. That’s a lot of finger drumming and patient waiting while the band have endlessly fiddled and tweaked their work. Salute the heavens, then, that the result is an absolutely belting 10 songs.

In those three years, the sounds that Gabriel Gurnsey, Dominic Butler and Nik Colk Void make have evolved from steel-splintered noise into demented and minimalist techno. Undoubtedly there’ll be a handful of haters who’ll say something’s been lost from their early years, but they’re wrong. Not only are Factory Floor slavish devotees to Mark E Smith’s mantra of repetition, repetition and more bloody-minded repetition, but John Peel’s maxim about The Fall is also applicable: they are always different, always the same. And ‘Factory Floor’ is as brutal as the band have always been. Take the unfuckwithable synth’n’tumble of ‘Here Again’. The trio’s biggest banger to date is a relentless war march, a call-to-arms for some intergalactic dust-up.

That same relentlessness runs throughout, from the electro-sleaze of ‘Work Out’ to the arid beats of ‘Fall Back’, with Nik Colk’s dead-eyed interrogation of “Did you feel like you were going to fall underground?” coming on half-temptress, half-Terminator. Crucially, Factory Floor innovate rather than imitate: witness the tooled-up, dystopian vision of underground New York on ‘How You Say’, or ‘Two Different Ways’, an icily sinister nod to Chicago house. No flash, no fripperies, no fucking about: just three like-minded souls making a nasty racket. Good place to start? It’s hard to think of many better.

Ben Hewitt