Factory Floor @ 285 Kent
UK trio Factory Floor finally returned to this side of the pond for their first US shows as a full band since 2011, and undoubtedly proved why people have been clamoring about their live sets. NYC got two shows at 285 Kent on Thursday (12/12) with Peter Gordon and Bookworms (pictures from that show in this post) and Friday (12/13) with Cities Aviv and Yvette, which I attended.
Though I unfortunately missed the opening set by rapper Cities Aviv, local duo Yvette was just getting started as I walked into an already packed (and quite warm) 285 Kent. While their Godmode-released album Process has been slowly racking up acclaim, last night's set proved Yvette's live impact is gaining in thrust and power, especially in the large concrete-fueled acoustics of such a venue. Noah Kardos-Fein made impressive use of his deep pedalboard, layering multi-hued shards of angular guitar scree atop drummer Dale Eisenger's relentless pummeling. I saw the band a few weeks back at their album release show at Death By Audio, and last night's performance was a big step up in intensity and made for a perfect warm-up.
Playing as a three-piece -- live drums supplemented by guitar and two tables of electronics -- Factory Floor wasted no time locking into a groove that was as precise and powerful as it was entrancing. Their self-titled record certainly has its fair share of taut, krautrock-inspired tracks, but live the band kicked it up a few notches, utilizing both effected live vocals and processed vocal samples and blasts of white noise over driving arpeggiations that brought an unmatched energy to the proceedings. Especially impressive was drummer Gabe Gurnsey, whose metronomic playing was literally jaw-dropping (and whose drumset included a DFA-approved cowbell).
Unlike the Thursday show, which went off mostly without a hitch, as Friday's set continued, it became clear that the sound onstage was not conducive to such rhythmic intensity, as Gurnsey cut a few songs short and glared at the sound-guy before the band left the stage early and did not return. Still, it was an impressive performance from a band that clearly knows exactly what they want to do and how to execute it.
More pics from Thursday's Factory Floor show -- including openers Peter Gordon and Bookworms -- are below.
In 2007, James Murphy and Pat Mahoney of LCD Soundsystem used Gordon's classic Downtown tracks "Beginning of the Heartbreak" and "Don't Don't" to open their highly-acclaimed dance mix Fabriclive 36.
In 2010, DFA Records released remixes by Gordon of "Beginning of the Heartbreak/Don't Don't" and "That Hat," cowritten with Arthur Russell. [Wikipedia]