(Image courtesy of DFA Records.)
UK dance club sensation Factory Floor make a remarkable return after a slew of live shows from their hypnotic debut, Factory Floor, and the duo (formerly a trio after Dominic Butler left) are ready to follow up with another bizarre release, this time on the most extreme minimalism ever heard yet! Does 25 25 live up to the hype?
This album has left me with a lot of questions that get answered with every repeated listen, because the stark and robotic beats do show off as skeletal without any melody but for the fragmented vocal snips that pop out every so often. Yet, I have to admit with every listen comes a stronger appreciation for the piercing shock of percussion and acid-house energy that would mesh perfectly with a live setting.
“Meet Me at the End” by Factory Floor, courtesy of DFA Records.
Take for example the introduction of 25 25, “Meet Me at the End,” with its sparse acid-disco rhythms and repetitive 808 section. The synths and added textures to the industrial drumming feel like a reminder to Liar’s eerie electronic hypnotism from Mess that honestly has me highly excited as it sets the mood for the rest of the album.
The title track of this album, “25 25,” is another sharp example of the club-inspired rhythms. It’s wonderfully crafted and jarring repetition is both disorienting and melodic, a track sculpted and drilled for the dance floor. If there was something that has me disinterested in Factory Floor’s new album, it would be on “Slow Listen.” While the grooves are definitely pleasant, the synth choice oddly feels muddy and the vocals plastered all over the mix sound jarring in the worst way.
I do have to credit David Wrench for doing a lot of the mixing for the release however, as he did a generally good job emphasizing the best of Factory Floor while making sure the minimalist concept stayed on focus. Considering he’s done work with FKA Twigs and Caribou, both amazing experimental electronic heads in their own right, I feel like 25 25 was done some justice in the mixing department.
“Wave” by Factory Floor, courtesy of DFA Records.
One more track I do have to mention is the track “Wave” for the brilliant remarks to Sheffield bleep and industrial techno, which do sound like someone performing Morse code as part of the rhythm.
Overall, 25 25 by Factory Floor is a damn impressive sophomore release that is a challenging listen compared to their debut. While there is some mixing choices that didn’t well with me, the release as a whole is even more hypnotic and eerie than what was the perceived limit from Factory Floor. I’d recommend this release for anyone who interested in dance music, particularly the industrial kind that isn’t afraid to get repetitive.
Rating: ★★★★ (4/5)
You can purchase this release over at the DFA Records Bandcamp for Factory Floor HERE, and consider purchasing a vinyl copy as well or at your local record store!