It was a cold Sunday night in December at 2011’s All Tomorrow’s Parties event in Minehead where Factory Floor took the stage in Reds.
Festivals like this always throw up unfortunate stage time clashes, and on this particular night Factory Floor locked horns with co-curators, Caribou.
As droves of weary-bodied punters trudged upstairs to the main stage for the Dan Snaith experience, they missed something special. It left the 100 strong in attendance in Reds to have Factory Floor completely obliterate whatever was already left of our minds.
It was like an exclusive rave with Seefeel and Throbbing Gristle making a special appearance. Only they weren’t. Factory Floor dispensed the kind of mind-altering glory that, at the time, felt like a once in a lifetime proposition. Music completely conceived from the dark vortex with unbridled militancy and menace.
Suffice to say, despite their critical acclaim, I never felt like Factory Floor came close to capturing this kind of gale-force intensity on tape. Maybe that was the point? The band creating this split-personality persona between record and live performance? In any case, from a personal perspective Factory Floor were exclusively a live concern, and while drummer Gabe Gurnsey’s 2018 LP, Physical, had the remnants of a Factory Floor live encounter, it seems unfair to hold the two respective projects up to the mirror.
And while the same could be said of Nik Colk Void’s Bucked Up Space, the truth of the matter is that this record takes me back to that auspicious, bone-cold night in Minehead.
Granted, this is not a carbon copy of Factory Floor. Anything but. There’s a meticulousness in how Void has shaped Bucked Up Space. The cavalier bludgeoning of Factory Floor has been replaced by something more cerebral. But the vibe, it holds a similar essence and, to these ears at least, it’s unshakable.
And it starts with Interruption is Good. Etched across a desolate landscape with beats that crack like a whip, whether it’s Void taking us into a new world or rebooting the old one is merely splitting hairs. This is Void’s world and for 37 minutes we are firmly entrenched in it.
Full of cut and paste collages that shape-shift, Big Breather is the stuff of a completely altered mind. And while the signal-scramble interludes of Tender Supposition, Absence Pile Island and Early Summer allow us to catch our breath, make no bones about it: the dance floor awaits.
Like an amphetamine-inspired BPM panic attack, Demna sees Void pulling techno into new exciting directions with new colours and shapes morphing into some mythical beast. Meanwhile, the trance-like surge of FlatTime is like being hit with a laser beam that sparks the nerve ends. Both tracks some of the best electronic composition you’re likely to hear all year.
With the muffled static of someone trying to find a radio station in a post-apocalyptic world, Oversized ends the journey with the kind of fractured electronica that is simply born for these times. It’s a thick blanket of dread that has you asking yourself the question of ‘what just happened?’
The answer? Multi-dimensional shards of noise produced by someone with a mental nimbleness so few in this space currently offer. There’s little doubt that Void views the world through a different prism, and while it feels like Bucked Up Space has been something she has chipped away at for years, the final conception is indeed immaculate.
Bucked Up Space is out now via Editions Mego. Purchase from Bandcamp.