Factory Floor – Two Different Ways review
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.