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Photo by Alfred Gorman

Craig Hollywood/Allstate/Kucka/Rex Monsoon/The Monarchy/Sacred Flower Union/Lightsteed
The Bakery
Saturday, December 13, 2014

A much lauded, original act to have arisen from the London underground scene, Factory Floor have been around for almost 10 years, making an impression with their unique brand of post-industrial, no wave, experimental noise and live techno. This, their maiden voyage to Perth, was a long overdue visit, so it was somewhat disappointing that there wasn’t a bigger turnout, especially with such a stellar local support cast.

The Bakery crowd never turn up til later, so Lightsteed and Sacred Flower Union were playing to a mostly empty room. The boys didn’t let it distract them from their business. A rare set from the ‘steed saw him bust out a mashup of all sorts of fun and funky tunes on the CDJs. Sacred Flower Union’s short live set impressed all those in attendance with his unique one man show of live looped and layered percussion mixed with euphoric synths and sounds.

Rex Monsoon played a back to back DJ set with The Monarchy as numbers started to spill in, so by the time Kučka came on stage there was actually a bit of a crowd inside. Kučka are a really a well-polished live act after a big year of gigging and their new set is on more of a dancefloor trip, with glitchy, live beats contrasting Lowther’s sweet vocal melodies, spearheaded by the unstoppable single Unconditional and backed by their atmospheric visual show, it’s an impressive spectacle.

Allstate had the task of taking us up to midnight and did well to keep the vibe on the level with a pumping set of techy goodness. Then just after midnight the duo of Gabriel Gurnsey and Nik Colk took to the stage, dressed simply in white T-shirts and set about their business with methodical precision. The two of them standing side by side, manipulating an array of equipment, lit up by the flashing visual projections on the screen behind them. There was no real crowd interaction or even interaction between the two of them – they’re a serious ‘eyes down’ kinda operation, intense, fully focussed on the job. Their music is best enjoyed when you allow yourself to be lost, immersed in it. Ride the liquid, ebbing waves of throbbing beats and scorching synths, let it wash over you and propel you onwards.

All of the crowd had come inside by now and were dancing, it was irresistible. Each break or lull in the music was greeted with cheers.

The only thing some may have found disappointing was the cut down live show. Factory Floor have performed as a three-piece in the past with Dominic Butler on modular synthesiser and other electronics, but there was no Butler tonight. There was just the two of them intently manipulating their equipment, with Gurnsey using the modular to issue forth fat, squelchy analogue sounds. It was still a great set with some live elements, but the full Factory Floor show is notorious, and many had heard tales of their acclaimed live sets with the freeform, interactive noise of the three-piece incorporating Gurnsey’s incredible drumming and Colk’s sinister, affected vocals.

After an hour of intensity, the music suddenly stopped and the duo abruptly left the stage. There would be no encore. It was a great set that left those in attendance feeling fortunate for making it down to witness, but also hinted at the brilliance of what a full live set would be like.

It was then over to Craig Hollywood to end the night on a high, who did well to follow on with a thumping set of insistent techno and minimal grooves. He was also joined again by Rex Monsoon who had another chance to play to a more happening dancefloor.




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