Factory Floor are a three-piece band based in London. Gabriel Gurnsey, Dominic Butler & Nik Colk were a traditionally underground band, but have now come up to the surface thanks to their incredible self-titled debut LP. Factory Floor will be playing their first ever DC show at the U Street Music Hall on the Thursday the 24th of April. (To win tickets to their DC debut,follow the instructions at the bottom!) Whilst touring US and Canada, vocalist and guitar player, Nik Colk sat down with Blisspop to explain how the band feels having made a record which met such high expectations.
“It is such a relief, the feedback and that everyone liked the album was amazing,” she explains ahead of a soundcheck in Seattle. “From BBC 6Music in London to Pitchfork in Chicago to Electronic Beats in Berlin. The fact that lots of people liked it around the world is huge for us.” The touring lineup for the band features Gabriel Gurnsey (drums and drum machines), Dominic Butler (modular synths and electronics), and Nik Colk (vocals, guitar and samples).
The album is a swirling artistic triumph of a record-one you wished came along every week but sadly comes around yearly, if you’re lucky. Merging a crazy yet harmonious blend of minimal techno, post industrial, noise rock, post punk and visual art in one beautiful swoop. Factory Floor are a band who’ve broken out of the European underground scene, which they have been part of since the three of them got together in 2009. Ultimately the brain child of drummer Gabriel Gurnsey, Factory Floor began in 2005 with a different line up, and has, since 2009, released a mini-LP titled ‘Talking On Cliffs’ and a bunch of singles. The album’s first release, ‘Fall Back’, is sleek and powerful track. Techno, laced under Colk’s woozy, distorted vocals is paired with driving bleeps, bops and heavy drums.
Factory Floor are maturing and sounding more fine-tuned and focused than ever. The band are particularly known for their powerful live sets in unique venues. “I personally have a problem playing traditional venues, where music and art are put into a box. The system is tired and it may not respond well to our sound,” said Colk. Factory Floor clearly have a firm grip on their work and can be found playing in warehouse spaces, art galleries or the most magical stages at festivals. “It is trial and error but it gives us more freedom. Our main incentive is to let people have an open mind. And if you start in a place that will dictate to them, it could potentially tarnish the experience.” It is also worth mentioning that Factory Floor solely produced and recorded their album, as well as design their own album sleeve.
I asked how they felt about the various labels journalists give them when describing their sound. “I’m fine with labels – people have to have a reference. Post Punk is something we can definitely identify with, artists creating music without money and scraping by which is true with us. As well as people collaborating and helping each other out without a view of getting paid,” explains Colk. So a band with DIY ethics, which brings me nicely to Daniel Avery who remixed “How You Say” for the band. I wanted to know how the connection was made. “It came about a while ago, he got in contact with us and ask if Gabe (drummer in Factory Floor) could do a remix for him, so it was a growing relationship and he did one for us in return.”
Back to their live shows. After playing in Canada for the first time the band are in high spirits. “We don’t tend to look up when performing because we don’t have a traditional set up. I looked up mid-set and there were so many people who knew the words – it was a real joy and a surprise. It is interesting to see how playing the tracks on stage differs from the studio. When you play live it takes on a mind of its own.” I wonder, before going on tour, does it feel like the album you’re touring is as old as the hills? “Yes, in your head you have moved on quite a lot and it is a struggle until you get on the road. Then it’s great.’
In a time when integrity, a progressive sound and emerging from the underground normally means you stay there, Factory Floor are a rare treat and a growing success. 2014? “We have festivals up until the end of the summer and we’ll write on the road and then record album number two. We are eager to get on and take the next step.”
For a chance to win tickets to Factory Floor’s DC debut, like us on Facebook and email your name to email@example.com!
RÜFÜS DU SOL are the hot new dance trio from Sydney, Australia. James Hunt, Jon George and Tyrone Lindqvist are now embarking on their first ever US tour with their catchy debut single ‘Desert Night’ going down very well. Having already conquered their homeland and hitting all the top spots, the guys are hoping an international audience will enjoy their clever blend of indie dance music that has made them so popular at home. Next week will see them playing U Street Music Hall on Thursday and we have a free pair of tickets to giveaway! All you need to do is like our Facebook page and email your name to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll announce the winner by email on Wednesday!
Desert Night has received stellar reviews in the US, with people excited to hear your debut album, Atlas. How How has the US reception been so far for RÜFÜS DU SOL?
We couldn’t be happier. We honestly thought coming here, we would be playing to half full rooms. But, having the San Francisco and LA shows sell out was pretty amazing. The crowds have been dope too. Feels like people here don’t need an excuse to dance.
How has the tour been? Any crazy SXSW stories?
SXSW was ridiculous. So many amazing people in one place at the same time. The energy is rad. We slept for 2 full days after it.
Your sound seamlessly blends influences from electronic music and indie rock. How has that sound developed and does it play a conscious role when you sit down to write music?
When we’re writing, we’re trying to write tunes that we want to hear. So It’s just all our different influences coming into play.
Production obviously plays a big part in what you do. What is the band’s background production wise?
Jon is an audio engineer and sound designer by trade so he knows his way around Pro-Tools. But, we all write as a collective when we’re writing for RÜFÜS DU SOL.
How does it feel to have released several EP’s on your own to now being given that extra push by Colombia records and touring internationally?
The support from a big company like that is pretty inspiring actually. You can feel that there is so much that goes on behind the scenes, where we started just putting out music up on the internet.
It seems Australia does electro indie dance music very well with artists such as The Presets, Midnight Juggernauts, Empire of the Sun, Cut Copy and Sneaky Sound System. Why do you think that is and what do you think you bring to the mix?
It’s a sunny place surrounded by ocean. It’s incredibly isolated from the rest of the world, so scenes down there can be developing for years and then just suddenly explode, like what has happened with
our label bros WHAT SO NOT, MOTEZ etc. That has to have something to do with it.
Due to trademark issues, you’ve had to change your name from RÜFÜS to RÜFÜS DU SOL in the US only. Is that confusing and how have you adjusted to your new US-only name?
Yeah it is a little confusing, but people are getting it. We like the new name. It keeps the feel of the original which is what we wanted.
What is your writing process like and do you usually come up with the song and then the words or visa versa?
Track first. Vocal melody second. Lyrics last. We spent about 2 months fine tuning the lyrics for the album. It was the last thing we did after about 6 months of solid studio writing.
What has this year been like so far and what are you expecting towards the end of it?
This feels like the delicious sandwiches we made for lunch. We’re really excited to see what they will taste like.
The wonderful people at FACT Magazine are helping us make U Street Music Hall’s fourth anniversary even sweeter by giving away a coveted prize package for the March 21 and March 22 dates of U Hall’s anniversary week.
The contest winner will receive two tickets to see techno maven Magda, Life and Death founder, DJ Tennis, and the District’s own Beautiful Swimmers on Friday, March 21. The winner will also receive two tickets for the following night when BLISS takes the reins with a headlining set from Dusky, the club debut of Midland, and BLISS founder, Will Eastman, on Saturday, March 22.
In addition to winning two tickets to both March 21 and March 22 nights, the contest winner will receive a two-night stay at the Washington Plaza Hotel and breakfast for two. You can enter to win by emailing email@example.com with the subject line “Four Years of Night” by February 28th. You must be at least 18 years of age to win.
Read about it HERE
Longtime Blisspop favorite and friend, option4, was kind enough to sit down and answer a few questions for us in anticipation of his upcoming show this Saturday at U Street Music Hall with Justin Jay and Bixel Boys. To make it even better, we have a pair of ticket’s we’ll be giving away to one lucky reader. All you need to do is email your name to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll announce the winner on Friday via email. In the meantime, check the interview out below:
The past twelve months have been quite epic for you. The Elizabeth Rose ‘The Good Life’ remix has won lots of praise, as well as ‘Love Like No Other’ and ‘Do Work.’ How do you intend to keep the momentum going?
It’s hard to judge momentum! Songs you think are great and going to be hopefully loved by people can flop and songs you didn’t expect to be big can be huge. It’s like this unknown world of variables that can only be conquered by just putting out consistent quality releases. Hopefully you strike it at the right time with the right tune and things can pop. So for me the goal is to just keep writing songs I think are better than the previous ones and put out as many songs as possible. Some artists probably disagree completely and I understand the need to let songs and the audience breathe a little bit, however it takes me a while to make a song so I never worry about releasing too many. I’m putting out a new one next week in fact, and another remix in March :) Just going to hope for the best and if they don’t do great just hope that the next one does :)
You’ve said you didn’t get into the production of music through DJing or via the use (or rather, the overuse) of samples. What did get you into production?
My Father is a composer for film. He does a lot of work for big networks and such so I grew up around a recording studio. I guess with my love of house music at a young age it was naturally curious for me to start producing. I wrote my first electronic song at 15. My first 4 track EP at the age of 17. We put it onto Mini Disc, you remember those? hahaha.. needless to say it was absolutely awful music but that was where I got my start I suppose. I played my first show of all original music when I was 25 and just sold CD’s at the merch booth. I just DJ’d all my own songs. It kind of lit a fire under me and I realized I wanted to play out a bunch more. I started taking music much more serious when I finally quit my day job about 2 years ago.
I’m a big fan of your track “Deep Diamonds,” which made me wonder–what inspires you to make a track, typically?
Oh man! Thanks! I LOVE that tune. SO much. It was a song that actually got passed over for the most part unfortunately. Makes me smile to know someone else likes it haha. That song came about because I was reminiscing with a buddy of mine about songs that were influential to us when we were kids. Global Underground put out a compilation mixed by Deep Dish when I was real young. It opened up with their chunkier version of the song Diamond Life by Louie Vega. The song literally to this day gives me chills. It was like 02? 03? Anyhow we were in my studio and I put it on because my friend had never heard it and it was crazy fast…like 128 or 129 BPM and it got me thinking that it was time for a rework. Luckily the acapella was on beatport so I bought it and went to work. I showed it to my buddy Lazaro Cassanova because he’s friends with all those MURK cats and then instantly got scared. I didn’t want Louie to get mad at me for the rework/complete vocal jack of the tune. Apparently though it wasn’t a problem and I never got asked to take it down so I just left it up in the hopes that it maybe exposes people to the original masterpiece.
How much time do you spend making beats and how long does it usually take you to make a tune?
Basically I’m the worst producer ever. It takes me FOREVER to write songs. I suffer from the same crap every other aspiring producer does I think. Knowing what is too much and what is too little. The art of not ruining a groove is something that can’t be taught. Some songs have it. Some songs will never have it. There are no production courses that teach an answer to the conundrum. Basically I work on a tune til I feel I’ve found that balance, however there are times when I finish a song and 3 months later hear it again and want to change it. It’s never ending. Knowing when to walk away from a tune is an art form in itself I think. The people who can take simple beats and make them sound rich and full and beautiful (i.e.; Stimming is an AMAZING example) are geniuses. I one day hope to get to that point and speed up my work flow. I’m working on two new singles for example that I’m SUPER amped on, but I’ve had them 50 percent done for like 2 months now. It’s tough~
You use a fair amount of vocals in your music. Do the lyrics come first or the production?
100% of the time if it’s an Original song the vox come later. If it’s a remix or an edit? Always the vox first. I’m a huge fan of chopping and editing til I find grooves within the vocals themselves. Then I just add the music to the rest of it and call it good ;)
There seems to be a lot of musical cross over in your music such as classic house, strong bass music, sonic sounds and flickers of electronica – is that deliberate? Or would you say there is an overriding sound?
Yes…100% deliberate. Right now I am just a huge fan of blending the styles. I don’t make super deep/tech stuff like Innervisions (although some of it is amazing) but at the same time I don’t make super poppy bright disco stuff either. I literally try to stay right in the middle. Sometimes the super bass stuff is fun to play with so drops n such can be fun to work into deeper songs. That being said strings and swells and fun chord progressions that have disco influences can add beauty and pace to a track, so blending stuff like that into deeper grooves can be really fun as well. The most important thing for me is to try and capture the emotion of the song while I’m writing it and get that to transfer over to the listener. Whether it’s deep or grimy or smooth or dreamy, as long as that feeling transfers to the listener then it’s a win for me :)
What artists are you loving right now?
Straight up calling out NAMES here haha…Homies I think are killin it right now…Everyone on Night Supply for sure. Domino Effect is another dope label I follow. I love everyone pretty much on AUS or Hypercolour. Always big love for Dirtybird. They’re the homies. Those are just labels though I guess haha…here are some artists that I support and love:
Moon Boots, Bit Funk, GOLDROOM, Justin Jay, Trikk, Billy Kenny, Dusky, Motez, TEED, MANIK, Duke Dumont, MK, George Fitzgerald, Walker & Royce, Todd Edwards, Jerome LOL, James Curd, Maxxi Soundsystem, Gigamesh, Lane 8, xxxy, Cassian, Yolanda Be Cool, Climbers etcetc…I guess these are more than just DJ’s, they’re friends so I support the nonsense out of their music. There won’t be a set this year I play without their tunes. Period. They’re making the sound/style of music that I’m pushing myself at the moment so it’s pretty easy :)
What are you hopes for 2014 professionally?
I guess the main thing I’m hoping to do this year is tour a bit in Europe. Also I’m hoping in between the remixes etc to put out 2 more EP’s. At the end of 2014, if I can look back and say I made a bunch of music I’m happy with and met a bunch of cool people along the way, then I’ll be a pretty happy camper :)
Rising against the frustration of a cyclical and transient dance music community, Baltimore-bred producer and label boss Lomez approaches music with a keen sense of eclecticism and flexibility. Having started as a producer in 1999, Lomez’s formative years as a DJ were characterized by frequent movement from Baltimore to New York City and European destinations. This wealth of experience helped cultivate Lomez’s talent for producing polished tracks that combine dance floor appeal with a sincere artistic curiosity.
Describing his music as deep house, techno and disco but “none of them at the same time,” Lomez’s previous output include releases from My Favorite Robot and Hypercolour, as well as his own label Better On Foot. He details the inception of Better On Foot as “born out of necessity to release music without substantial delay, to be free from some influence of A&Rs with a different view of the sound, and to provide our family of artists an outlet for their music.” Better On Foot has also afforded him additional collaborations with Ibiza’s DC10 resident Andrew Grant, whom he cites as a major influence.
In contrast to past years in which Lomez travelled abroad to find an active dance music culture, he now focuses his energy on engaging with the bubbling music scene at home. He recently collaborated with D.C. vocalist Symbol, whom Lomez cold-called after watching Symbol’s performance with the Claire Hux group in Baltimore. In the pipeline from the two is a stripped-down charmer entitled “I’m Yours,” forthcoming on Fresh Meat Records, as well as another collaboration dropping this winter on Noir Records. Lomez is also gearing up for an opening set for Nina Kraviz this Saturday October 26 at U Hall. In preparation, he has offered the exclusive “I’m Yours” (Lomez Dub Per Eivissa) for download. The dub, originally made to play at DC10, is to stream below and to download via our Facebook: