Reviews

Gabe Gurnsey
Physical

(Phantasy)

8/10

After 13 years of waging an all-out post-industrial techno assault on unsuspecting sub-woofers as a founding member of Factory Floor, Gabe Gurnsey’s solo debut rewires that voracious energy into a sound less about punching you in the head and more about getting inside it.

Less cold and hostile but just as capable of creating unease with every twisted synth and detached vocal, tracks like ‘Temazzy’ take that Factory Floor relentlessness and contort it into something dark and delicious, the airy dynamics on ‘Harder Rhythm’ sweep into a steadily progressive monster with its mantra of “harder love creates a harder rhythm” and ‘Sweet Heat’ growls into a pulsating mix of saxophone, paranoia and percussion.

Inspired by the idea of creating a “record about clubbing even more than it’s a record to be played in clubs” Gurnsey’s focus on capturing the moments of a night out gives ‘Physical’ a sense of menace and excitement, and his softer touch diminishes nothing, with the bass licks and robo-funk of ‘You Can’ and ‘New Kind’ demonstrating his ear for slick hooks before the throbbing, unsettling disco of ‘Eyes Over’ pushes towards the album’s climax.

The outstanding ‘Night Track’ shows a tempered flicker of ‘Two Different Ways’ as the album’s ‘part of the weekend never dies’ anthem before the momentum shifts to the equally impressive ‘The Last Channel’ as it brings the lights up to scenes of blinking, bleary-eyes, sweaty smiles and happy staggers into the night and the taxi drive home. An absolutely pulsating listen.

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