Release Date: Aug 3, 2018
Record label: Phantasy Sound
The paranoid soundscapes, relentless beats and terrifying disembodied vocals one might associate with Gurnsey's collaborative work are, if anything, amped up on this release. Sure, there's not much approaching the monolithic length of Factory Floor 's "Two Different Ways", but not a single track on Physical is what one would describe as being "succinct". They just reach the main theme or groove faster, so the main 'body' of the track bangs around your head for longer.
We all know and accept how Factory Floor became references within the heavily synthesized and experimental spectrum of electronic music. Having built a career on cerebral musical constructions and getting accreditation from titans like Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor, Gabe Gurnsey is now pursuing the attempt of flying solo under the wing of Erol Alkan's label Phantasy. If you're expecting 'post-industrial' you might be caught by surprise.
You ever wonder sometimes if the DJ at the dance party is… compensating for something? The keeper of the tunes doesn't have to talk or flirt with anyone else in the room; they really can't, either, as any DJ worth their salt has to stay alert, eye the crowd, read the vibe, and steer the needle (or the laptop) accordingly. Hardly a wild night out, really, but maybe that's why the job appeals - some folks would rather stay in control than let themselves go. See, Gabe Gurnsey wants you to see his first solo album, Physical, as a night out in the club.
Gabe Gurnsey's debut solo album is a throwback affair, in which he eschews the intricate polyrhythms of his group Factory Floor in favour of acid house textures. 707, 808 and 909 drum machines alternate with hand percussion and drum kit, as sensual but inessential lyrics evoke Jamie Principle's appearances on classic Frankie Knuckles tracks. You Can is an early highlight, with a groovy electric bassline which snakes around the repeated refrain "you can dance while I get high" and syncopated layers of synth that build on top, as is the intense lead single Harder Rhythm.