This LP has received some tentative/lukewarm reviews in some quarters. Perhaps that's not surprising as it's not a particularly easy listen and not something you can just stick on in the background. Yuppies expecting some sort of tell-your-friends-about-Mercury-prize-nomination-type record are coming at this from completely the wrong angle. Nothing against yuppies but "Factory Floor" is something of a musicologist's record. Leave your pretensions at the door because this is the sort of music that needs a little figuring out: along the lines of - what on earth possessed somebody to make this; where the hell did it come from? The same sort of figuring out that I recall having to do on hearing post-Hannett New Order (the NO song "Hurt" in particular) or THE KEY OF DREAMS + SINGLES-era Section 25.
As a full album experience Factory Floor is quite a difficult proposition - it just doesn't let up. After all, what sort of mood does one have to be in to listen to this sort of music? It doesn't really seem to fit any particular mood other than one which says "let's play a good old racket". It is a dance record of sorts, but this has more in common with PIL and Cabaret Voltaire than it has with, say, Derrick May or Carl Craig. That's not to say it's retro, because it isn't. As I said in the review title I would call this post-techno - imagine Robert Hood's equally unrelenting Internal Empire played with real instruments and you're maybe about 3/4 of the way there. This is music to shake those (i.e. me) who have been listening to too much chill-wave out of their state of torpor.
Whilst the record has its critics who are both right and wrong, I just love the way it has absorbed its influences and at the same time looks to the future. I strongly suspect that there is much more good stuff to come from its makers and that this may be just be the beginning.
A post-Techno classic.
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