GABE GURNSEY – Song For Ewe

“SONG FOR EWE”
with GABE GURNSEY 

“SONG FOR EWE” is the feature where artists & music people beloved by VELVET SHEEP choose an obscure song they’ve been listening to that day. Today’s guest has just released the most exciting electronic album since Daniel Avery’s “Drone Logic” and I was already an avowed fan of his work as co-founder of Factory Floor, whose first record I have with die-cut sleeve and yellow vinyl just to prove my fanboy status. Factory Floor’s take-no-prisoners stark but heavyweight industrial breeze-blockers combine a cold cerebral edge with physical aggression, but with a debut solo record called “Physical” (on Erol Alkan’s Phantasy Sound label also home to Avery), he’s now added hot buttered soul and some electronic body music.

If you like a bit of early Mute or Warp as I do, Model 500, Jeff Mills or Trevor Jackson’s epochal “Metal Dance” comp with all the awkward squelch and opportunistically lewd motorik synth of Neon, DAF, SPK and the like, then “Physical” will have you happy as a pig in shit. The album is perfectly paced like a finely attuned DJ mix, and although many others have tried to build a concept record around a night/weekend/bender – like Flowered Up, Metronomy and even lucid dreams-era Franz Ferdinand – nobody’s done it with as much aplomb as today’s guest, the awesome Gabe Gurnsey!

Check out “Harder Rhythm”, one of the stand-out tracks from “Physical” below…

“Harder Rhythm” seems to spell the point in “Physical” where Gabe hits the club, and it’s quickly followed up by the opressive sweat from the walls and grit in the oyster of “Sweet Heat” whose rolling drums come in adrenalised waves like Leftfield meets OutKast’s “BOB” with subtle Eastern mystical refrains like Rachid Taha’s “Rock The Casbah” Clash cover. Then comes the killer “New Kind” that begins with a robotic drummer’s call to arms (as if Siri were fronting the Ramones) and adds Sly & Robbie funk to Drone Logic. The dancing gets dirtier with the evocatively hyper-real sub dom call & response of “Heavy Rubber”. It’s not explicit but it sure feels rude, and although there are definite echoes in this and other cuts of the Factory Floor sound built through 13 years of building up kit, honing instinct and playing with musical foil Nik Colk Void, the visceral and tangible heat in this key middle act of the album is what makes it “Physical”.

But what song by someone else is physically moving Gabe at the mo’? Without further ado, here’s his “song for ewe”…

“A friend sent this to me the other day with a note saying some of my new album PHYSICAL reminded them of this tune.

I’d never heard it before but instantly fell in love with it. that off kilter drum machine programming and sounds are so up my street. The vocal treatments and early sampling cuts along with the kind of naive synth sounds I love draw you into this kind of broken technology led neon filled sci-fi world, passing through like one of those weird but really pleasing dreams that come with an afternoon sleep on a shitty bleak Manchester day”

THANKS SO MUCH GABE, YOU’RE A TOP BLOKE. 

The album “Physical” is out tomorrow, Friday 3rd August, you can get it from (among others) Rough Trade where you may also be able to snaffle a ticket to catch Gabe at the album launch next Tuesday 7th August at Elektrowerkz, London – flyer below…

Author: Nick Hutchings

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