Trading the Organic for the Synthetic
In transitioning from a duo to a trio, on their newest album, 25 25, Factory Floor completely leaves behind their post-punk roots and instead lands within the realm of dance-floor beats. After the departure of keyboard player Dominic Butler, the remaining members Nik Colk Void and Gabriel Gurnsey have moved forward with a completely synthetic sound.
“Meet Me At The End” is an eight and a half minute intro built upon a single repetitive loop, with small layering additions of snippets of lyrics and synth hits. “Relay” follows, and though it utilizes more of a moving bass line, there is nothing towards which it’s moving. “Dial Me In” is the first song that truly stands out. The layers on top of the looped bass are more obvious and help the song keep moving forward without falling flat for too long. “Ya” also comes off and one of the most textured songs on the album. The album’s title song, though, is a bit of a disappointment in comparison. While it tries to maintain forward momentum with a faster beat, it manages to drag itself out at the same time and is the most minimalist song on the whole album.
25 25’s songs are all built around one key feature—a single, solid, looped bass line. The focus is on simplicity. With that single loop, Factory Floor subtly decorates it with calculated additions of lyrics and synths that are meant not to layer heavily on the minimalist songs. Unfortunately, though, the subtle shifts are too subtle and without any highs and lows in songs that last seven to eight minutes, they tend to quickly become dull, and eventually everything blends together. The overly planned beats and hits detract from their human creativity. The second half of 25 25 begins to pull away from this, though, and, hopefully, Factory Floor’s next album will continue this trend.