Gabe Gurnsey helps make the dislocating hypnogloom you hear on any given Factory Floor record, having ground out cold grooves for a good long season of his life. As a solo act he's committed himself to making warmer and prettier music with more to latch on to. Physical sees him deliberately reroute his approach to structure and design, offering music to bliss out to rather than to get caged in with.
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Who is Gabe Gurnsey? Well, he “makes dislocating hypno-gloom on Factory Floor records, having ground out cold grooves for a long season of his life… Solo, he's making warmer and prettier music…” © our Robin. So far, so proven (I’d have to agree, which is nice). This is all I know, really; however, on with the new and on this evidence, on this latest solo release, these are some positively sultry grooves and slinky moves. Look out -- Gabe’s getting ‘Physical’, friends.
There are elements of Cold Wave here, for sure (opener ‘Ultra Clear Sound’ retains a glacial, misty atmosphere), but also sensuous Chicago house, EBM and even Balearic pop are woven into this record, which Gurnsey has told us is a 14-track narrative sequenced to feel like a night out on the tiles. Although I’ve somehow missed the sections where you throw up by the bins round the back and your best mate cops off while you stagger in bleary-eyed desperation to catch the last bus home to your sad, lonely bedsit.
Gabe’s voice -- with a little help from a friend or two -- sandwiches between his elastic rhythms and slightly seedy synths no problem at all, in fact it’s like slipping between fresh silk bed sheets; none of your nasty static-inducing acrylic nastiness for this fellow. Smooth. Funky. Sensual. (But enough about me). There’s even a ghost of Mr Fingers’ Chicago Trax classic ‘Washing Machine’ echoing through track 10, ‘Version’.
‘80s synth pop and New Romantic references crop up, but there’s a sense of unease increasingly permeating too; reference the distant sax squalls reverberating through the dry ice swamped synths on ‘Sweet Heat’. ‘New Kind’ is a sort of disco-ed up Japan circa ‘Quiet Life’. Bass-lines are rubbery and drums are syncopated and synchronised perfectly to laser-guided keys. A fine marriage of neon, silk and steel then, this. And it’s totally compelling, addictive and seductive from start to finish.
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