Factory Floor - "Heart of Data"
For the uninitiated, English duo Factory Floor is comprised of Nik Colk Void and Gabriel Burnsey. While descriptions of the electronic band’s output vary, we at WMF hedge our bets by using “experimental” as an overarching description and starting point for the music of Factory Floor. Though woefully inadequate, the adjective nonetheless frees us to redirect our focus away from genre titles in favor of the music itself, which we find a much more rewarding pursuit.
We’ve had the pleasure of speaking with Nik Colk Void in the past about her illustrious work not only as a solo artist, but also as one third of Carter Tutti Void (along with Chris & Cosey), and — of course — her crucial involvement in Factory Floor. Similar to Void’s solo work, Factory Floor defies pigeonholing (despite those external attempts to fit the project into genres like post-industrial, minimal techno, and other musical microcosms), and fluidly adapts to changing environments. The duo’s “Heart of Data” twelve-inch serves as a stellar sampling of their experimental spirit, multi-media interaction, and singular sound, so it is a pleasure indeed to revisit the exemplary release here.
In 2018, DFA released Factory Floor’s Soundtrack for a Film. True to its name, the music is a soundtrack to a film — more specifically the 1927 classic silent masterpiece, Metropolis (directed by Fritz Lang). Ahead of that 2018 full-length release, DFA released an excerpt as a 12-inch titled “Heart of Data”, which also featured a B-side bearing the title “Babel”. In 2018, Nik Colk Void graciously shared exclusive background information with us about the history leading up to this remarkable release, which we’re delighted to share with you.
Nik Colk Void shared the following about the film Metropolis and the re-imagined soundtrack from Factory Floor:
“It’s the most recent version [of the film] where they discovered files that had been lost — I think the BFI restored those files. It’s two and a half hours long, as opposed to the original, which was only an hour and forty minutes, or something like that. The soundtrack is a re-imagined soundtrack of the existing one, and it’s away from what we’ve done [in the past].”
Regarding the single’s title, which is also the name of Factory Floor’s record label, Nik Colk Void explained:
“If you think deeply about it, it’s the same thing as the “Gold E” record. You come up with an idea and it takes on a life of its own to so many people. “Heart of data” does make so much sense right now because everything is inwardly processed now. The way that you socialize on social media is internalized. The way that I — as a creative — get excited about ideas or get inspired is to work or sit and chat with other like-minded people. But nobody really does this anymore, because you don’t have to go out to sit and chat. And that makes the flowing of things come to a halt. I think ‘heart of data’ is such an organic contradiction. It’s kind of [about] what you are giving your heart to at a given moment.”
You can purchase Heart of Data here.