Factory Floor - November 2011
This Month's Line up:
About the Launch
This was the very first Sub-Sonic Live at the Garage in London, an event showcasing the very best in emerging new music and heritage acts.
The first live act on the main stage was Hyetal, along with guest vocalist, Alison Garner. Opening with the screaming, soaring synth noise laden "Diamond Islands", Garner's live vocal added a wonderful extra dimension. We've been fans of Hyetal since Dot to Dot 2011, but to experience tracks "Phoenix" and "Beach Scene" in a larger room, with a bigger sound system, with its masses of bass was a real treat.
The changeover, allowed time to sample Nathan Gregory Wilkins' wonderfully eclectic tunes in the next room. His laid back, Bohemian choice of tunes, backed up by label mate Johnny Burnip, offered refuge from the bass next door. The quiffs and moustaches of the Discovery Room patrons, added to the unique, edgy but relaxed atmosphere flourishing under the History Clock mind set.
Back in the Main room The Invisible prepared, and apart from anything else, they are an incredible looking band, in matching white shirts, readying to perform material from their as yet unheard second album.
Leo Taylor's drumming stood out immediately, urgent and sharp, with Tom Herbert's basslines, anything but obvious, describing a heavy yet fragile foundation to the tracks. David Okumu's heavily delayed Telecaster and upper register vocals juxtaposed the rhythm section. The set gradually became more and more instrumental, with the construction of their prog-shoegaze-ambient elements really fusing together into a heated mass.
Next up, were of course, Factory Floor. Opening with "Two Different Ways", its electro mantra pounding like the load sequence of some John carpenter themed horror arcade game from the early 80s. That hi-hat cymbal kicked in and the rest of the song fell into place, Gabriel Gurnsey's relentless drumming driving the crescendo forward.
The projected graphics, similar to those used in Factory Floor's online promos, gave the eery feel that the audience are trapped in one of the bands videos! The crescendo continued to build and build. Clever tweaks of modulation shifted awareness of the electronic noise to and from prominence. It was difficult to tell where one track ends and another begins as Factory Floor force on, but then "Wooden Box" announced itself, with that John Carpenter theme replaced by a similar yet distinct sequence, resembling the alarm of some monstrous self destruct mechanism.
To some this sounds like underground house music, to others arthouse techno, to others a revival of late 80s early 90s shoegaze and industrial. Few outfits have ever managed to make music in these genres without becoming too formulaic, but the relentless improvised ethics of Factory Floor ensured this didn't happen. Undoubtedly one of the most exciting new bands on the scene today.
As one audience member remarks, "It's like a wall of sound, it just doesn't stop".
Factory Floor never stop; they never clock off; their labour is never-ending." 9/10 NME
...blissful escapism that should have fans waiting for Broadcast with bated breath. And honestly? That's the least Hyetal deserves." factmag.com "...Nathan [Gregory WIlkins] has that self-deprecating, likeable streak inherent in many a creative genius." The Guardian