Off the Floor 

Factory Floor's Discordant Disco

FACTORY FLOOR Evidently big fans of little blue floaty greater-than/less-than signs.

FACTORY FLOOR Evidently big fans of little blue floaty greater-than/less-than signs.

MODERNIST dance-pop outfit Factory Floor has been kicking around the international music scene since 2005. But according to the band, their sound didn't really solidify until four years ago, when guitarist/keyboardist Nik Colk joined the fold.

"It's changed a lot," says drummer Gabriel Gurnsey. "With the early stuff, we were really into Joy Division at the time, and we were more concerned about replicating those ideas rather than forging our own sound. Nik's brought a lot of sophistication to it, a point of progression that meant it was time to go forward."

The London-based trio's biggest leap ahead has been their 2013 self-titled album. The first full-length from the band, Factory Floor feels at once massive and intimate, drawing on the influence of post-punk icons like Arthur Russell and Gary Numan through liberal use of hypnotic disco rhythms underpinned by more discordant touches.

"Post-punk has always been the common ground with us," says Gurnsey. "In that era of music, the bands were technically not very accomplished and that only added to the sound of what they were producing. And at the time a lot more electronics were coming into it."

The post-punk era's fearlessness was a huge inspiration, especially when the band was holed up in the North London warehouse they called home—and where the album was recorded.

"They were coming from an artist's perspective, approaching instruments with an open mind," says Colk. "It's also that DIY attitude, of finding whatever was laying around and if it made a sound, using it."

Factory Floor expand on these ideas in a big way during their live shows, stretching songs out to twice the length of their recorded counterparts. With members playing live instruments to take the place of sounds that had been squeezed from a laptop on the record, the end result is a more intense, physical, and—especially for the band—exhausting experience.

"I get really knackered when I play," Gurnsey says. "But we need to have that human element in our live performances. It gets people going, either to get them to dance harder or fucking lose their shit. Besides, you've got to put on a bit of a show, ain't you?"

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