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Thread: Factory Records

  1. #1
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    Factory Records

    of course, most of you here are already familiar with new order & joy division, but i've been knee-deep in re-evaluating the entire factory records catalog, and there really are some great bands that also deserve attention. factory had a very deep identity. amazing sleeve design. trailblazing production by way of martin hannett. later on, there was the acid house movement and the hacienda club, where bands like the happy mondays flourished and kickstarted a rich chapter in british musical history in the early 90s. even the factory benelux releases (the belgian division of the label) boasts some of the best music of the era. the only label that trumps factory in my mind is 4ad, but that's another topic.

    a few factory essentials:

    the durutti column- lc - beautiful and hypnotic. very influential on dreampop, alongside artists like felt.

    section 25- always now - deep, dark post-punk, a sister album to joy division, but more subtle and haunting without being downright bleak. their 1984 record from the hip is a sister record to power corruption and lies, and while i love new order, i prefer from the hip by a country mile. lowlife and movement are my go-to new order records, for the most part.

    a certain ratio- flight 12''. this is also very much in the vein of joy division, especially in the vocals. the band would get more dub/bass-driven heavy over time, carving out their own identity.

    the names- nightshift 7''. belgian post-punk, released one album and a few classic singles. this was the only one on factory, but is easily the best.

    royal family & the poor- project phase 1. a hybrid record of art rock and deep electro, really interesting and unique.

    the wake- harmony. bleak, minimal post-punk with amazing breathy vocals and shrill hooks. another dream/jangle crossover as time went on, here comes everybody is also essential. fans of new bands like wild nothing, tamaryn, & diiv need to listen to this band, stat.

    other brief highlights include early stockholm monsters and railway children singles (a colder, bleaker take on REM, even though some of these predate the band) and early minny pops 7''s, mindfuck minimal synth classics.
    Last edited by frankie teardrop; 01-04-2013 at 11:49 PM.

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    and some links to listen to:




















    etc. etc. etc.

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    I watched the movie 24 Hour Party People and would love to explore this sound. Thanks for this thread.

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    I plundered the FAC back catalog a year or two ago thanks to the LTM Recordings reissues. Section 25 are the shit. They should be a lot more recognised than they are. The Names and The Wake have some great stuff too. Also really like the Anna Domino releases. Nice breezy, jazzy pop.

    FAC, Creation, 4AD is pretty much the Holy Trinity in my eyes.

    Quote Originally Posted by wizfan View Post
    I watched the movie 24 Hour Party People and would love to explore this sound. Thanks for this thread.
    Love that film. Watching it for like the tenth time was actually my catalyst for exploring the catalog beyond NO/JD, Happy Mondays, Electronic and the Other Two.
    Last edited by xmd 5a; 01-05-2013 at 02:27 AM.

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    Became very interested with the label because of "24 hour party people", i've always wanted to get into "The durutti column" im going to begin my FAC education with that one, cheers!

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    I was living in Manchester around the mid to late 90's and I remember attending The Hacienda quite a bit. Apparently it was almost always in financial strife, which I thought odd considering every time I attended it seemed packed to the rafters.
    I remember seeing Spiritualized play there, and that show turned me into a lifelong fan of theirs. I think that they were the last live act to ever play at the club, or at least one of them. I think the venue was used for art shows or something for a while after that, but it soon closed for good.
    Don't know what the building is used for now, anyone know? Does it still stand?

    As for Factory records, I suppose the label was most well known for all the Happy Mondays/Madchester/acid house shit. I was never really into that sort of stuff though. The Durutti's and ACR were interesting, but even they turned into sludge, (at least to my ears).
    Last edited by Camille; 01-05-2013 at 05:52 AM.

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    The hacienda has been converted into posh flats now, i visited the site in 2007 and it was unrecognisable

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sutekh View Post
    The hacienda has been converted into posh flats now, i visited the site in 2007 and it was unrecognisable
    Thanks for the info.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sutekh View Post
    The hacienda has been converted into posh flats now, i visited the site in 2007 and it was unrecognisable
    Im glad Tony Wilson never got to see that...

    Speaking of which i found a cool story about his grave

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    Quote Originally Posted by henryeatscereal View Post
    Im glad Tony Wilson never got to see that...

    Speaking of which i found a cool story about his grave
    Mad, but fitting that Tony's coffin was given a catalogue number. Thanks for posting.

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    Slightly off topic here, but since The Durutti Column have been mentioned in this thread, I thought I'd post this wee snippet of news..
    Apologies if posted elsewhere.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-20909894

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    things i had no idea existed:



    produced by martin hannett in 1985. doesn't realize the full majesty of the song just yet, but it DOES have the distinctive section 25 drum sound!

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    The Happy Mondays second album Bummed from 1988 produced by Martin Hannett. Is one of the best things he ever produced. Its the best thing the Happy Mondays produced by miles because of what they turned into a lot of people are still ignorant to the fact they actually produced a masterpiece the year before they became big. Its very different to their later work where they just became ridiculous but on Bummed it was like Hannett orchestrated the whole thing. Its kind of like he framed the darkness of their world. And added loads of cool effects and echo and made it into a unique weird dark psychadelic thing. Its like if a really good British gangster film that draws you in and is suprinsingly emotional were encapsulated on a record??? Hard to explain. I think its an amazing record.

    Also really love A Certain Ratio. Knife Slits Water has probably the best bassline of all time. Such an underrated group. ESG from Brooklyn were on Factory too if i recall they were brilliant too.
    I went to the Hacienda on a number of occassions between 1989-1992. It was different because it was so intense. The accoustics of the venue were perfect and it was all about getting lost in the music. It was very dark but with heavy strobe lights. Very very loud. the lighting was literally strobes all night. And there was an insane amount of drugs in there which were almost forced down your throat and encouraged greatly. It was about getting totally lost in it. I cant remember much to be honest i was so out of my head!!! But i do remember it had the best DJs in the world there. Graeme Park was the best DJ of all time in my opinion. and Mike Pickering too. They were signigicantly better than anyone else.
    and early Sasha. When 808 State who were the kings of the electronic scene back then played there people were literally trying to climb in through the air vents. It was good in about 1990 but by 1993 it became really threatening and overcrowded. And it lost its edge becuase clubs simillar to it were opening in London and rest of UK and was not worth the travel. But at its peak it was by far the best in the world. The Djs were so so good.

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    just got the 2xlp vinyl reissue treatment via factory benelux- second disc with the single a-sides and a peel session! well worth it, even if you have all the discography scattered around!

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    I've read in a few places that Brian Eno cites The Durutti Column — LC as his favourite album of all time. But I can't find where this originates: plenty of people echoing wikipedia, but wikipedia's source is a throwaway line in an unrelated local news paper article. Anyone know?

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    ^I don't know, but i'm glad you bumped this thread!

    I was just listening to the Happy Monday's "Yes Please!" and i got to say it's not that bad!, yes "Pills And Thrills and Bellyaches" is so much better, but considering the "conditions" it was recorded i think it could have been much worse...
    I was thinking about it because i just re-watched recently "24 hour party people" (one of my favorite movies ever!), and the part about the Happy Mondays in Barbados it's one of the funniest ones in the movie...

    I also found out it's on number "19" of the "50 Druggiest Albums Ever" list by NME

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    Did anyone knew that Johnny Marr almost joined the Happy Mondays for the recording of Yes Please!? They wanted him to play guitar on the record but he never made it to the airport on the day they left.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thevoid99 View Post
    Did anyone knew that Johnny Marr almost joined the Happy Mondays for the recording of Yes Please!? They wanted him to play guitar on the record but he never made it to the airport on the day they left.
    Didn't knew that, that's an odd combo but sounds cool none-less!

    Funny that The Smiths are one of the biggest Manchester bands, yet they weren't signed by Facory, in the movie ending (24 HPP) they mention this, and even acknowlege it as a mistake...

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    Here's the story from Johnny Marr...


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    Quote Originally Posted by henryeatscereal View Post
    Funny that The Smiths are one of the biggest Manchester bands, yet they weren't signed by Facory, in the movie ending (24 HPP) they mention this, and even acknowlege it as a mistake...
    One of my favourite scenes in the movie:


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    "So it wasn't a complete waste of time", lol

    I think it's cool that the movie has a "Factory number" too! (and Tony Wilson's casket also has it...)

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    God I love that ending. "You were right about Mick Hucknall. His music is rubbish and he is a ginger". BTW, where is that Vini Reilly/Durutti Column compilation?

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    So I picked up the durutti column - lc on wax, finally. It's a masterpiece. I'd never have imagined this after "the return..." Which i tire of quickly. Awesome stuff.

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