One of the very best shows I saw on the last edition of the Belgian music festival Pukkelpop was Factory Floor: an indie / techno trio signed on the hip and trendy DFA label that's destined to fill the gap that LCD Soundsystem left, after their split in 2011. Their debut full-length contains some hard hitting floor fillers with a clear and unique identity, stuck on a seemingly endless repeat. Live, this resulted in a very enjoyable hypnotic set which managed to keep the adrenaline levels of the (unfortunately few) attendees at a high enough level. To be honest, the studio versions of the tunes have less of an impact, but Factory Floor's first album still has proven itself as an exciting headphone record.
One reason for this lesser impression is that the tempo stutters due to the three unnecessary minute-long intermezzo's. It's not like they are needed to enhance the overall album's sense or theme, because, frankly, there isn't any. The other, more fully developed songs are all no-frills dance tracks. Drawn-out and very repetitive melody wise, but as with LCD Soundsystem, it are the tight drumming skills of Gabriel Gurnsey that set the tunes above the pack.
A first highlight, in retrospect at least, is the opener 'Turn It Up'; a song that for its six full minutes of playing length gives off the impression of "Alright, let's get this show on the road already!", but then just abruptly skips into 'Here Again'. Teasing: it's an art form that Factory Floor seems to have mastered. Talking about 'Here Again', the vocal samples employed here could be best described as James Murphy meets Anne Clark, and the resulting slumbering dark edge works surprisingly well behind the four to the floor beats. The very best track on the album is without a doubt 'Two Different Ways'. The fact that it was already released as their sturdy first DFA single, two years ago, doesn't diminish the quality of the track or its inclusion on the debut one bit; melodic techno at its finest. Elsewhere, 'Work Out' could hardly be described as melodic, but the unpredictable stacking of several rhythmic layers on top of each other is the main reason why the band is such a terrific live act.
So the main point you should take from this review is that you should definitely go see Factory Floor perform when they pass by your neighborhood. Their debut album does what it has to do, which is confirming that the band is here to stay. Unfortunately, although they are very much well crafted, the tracks never really explore unorthodox territories. Still, the record is recommended for all enthusiasts of dance music with a darker, hypnotic edge.