Dirt Factory - Factory Evolution
The electro-industrial duo and pair of brothers Daniel Allen and Michael Gillman originally began their synthetic journey calling themselves Psycho Decay. However, for unstated reasons, they chose to rename themselves Dirt Factory. Under this umbrella did they release their debut album “Random Songs For The End of The World” in 2020. This caught the attention of Viral Records Australia. Long story short, the band signed to the label, and two singles popped out of the duo. Late 2020 then saw the release of their second album “Factory Evolution”. That being said, that album is in discussion in this review. Let’s get to it.
‘Binary’ starts off the album in proper fashion and sets the mood. An ambient synth backs the song as voices read off what I could easily guess is supposed to be binary code. A steady trickle of electronic notes also surface as texture work. I was then brought into the first real song on the album, ‘Salvation’. An EBM based song, this introduced me to one of Dirt Factory’s vocal styles. A spoken word voice delivers the lyrics with glitchy effects galore. Also present on the song are what I can describe as whisper-screams. I commend them for keeping the vocals equal without one set ever dominating the other in the mix. The only problem I had with the song is that it is a bit repetitive. On sequential plays of the album, I was caught asking myself, “Is this over yet?” Which is never a good thing.
‘Automation’ rang in next, and the beginning of the song put me in the middle of a futuristic junkyard where ships flew above, dropping off interesting bits of tech and trash. Light drum’n’bass held down the bassline of the song as Dirt Factory used somewhat auto-tuned, and deeper pitched vocals to drive home the theme of the song. Robotic buzzing replies back to the standard vocals, as if someone’s having a conversation between themselves and an artificial entity. Also, the synth lines that appear around the one-minute and thirty-six second mark walloped me good. The following song 'Violence' threw atmospheric tendencies out the window in favor for a beat-driven track. The whisper-screams return in this song. That being said, the song needed quicker lyrical delivery as the beat simply demanded it. I feel as if the beat and the vocals on their own are good, but paired together they are at odds with one another.
The metallic percussion in the title track on the album, ‘Factory Evolution’, perfectly suited the name of the song. What I also heavily enjoyed about this song was its ever-evolving beat. After I had listened to the song three times, I played around with it by going from the first thirty seconds of the song to the three-and-a-half-minute mark. While sounding like the same song, the number of differences in samples and synthetic touches was outstanding. Next up is a scroll of various newscasts and samples from them in the form of an 'Interlude'. Of course, in Dirt Factory fashion, those samples are digitally altered and manipulated to appear much creepier than originally intended. Well done.
‘Pandemicamania’ is a slow chugging song which has a darker tone than the other tracks on the album – likely due to its subject matter. Slow rolling, there’s a saxophone sounding synth line in this track that had me reminiscing the Blade Runner franchise. When concept albums are able to align my mind to a setting that captures its idea or theme through sound alone, I commend them immediately. There’s a section at the one-minute and thirty-second mark where Dirty Factory delivers their lyrics in hip-hop fashion; quicker delivery and rhythmic tone. Well done. In terms of production and sound design, I felt as if both ‘Failed Empires’ and ‘Deflect’ were two of the simpler songs on the album. They certainly aren’t terrible, but they were not songs that I ever looked forward to when I was listening through “Factory Evolution”. ‘Trash’ and ‘Death In Your Eyes’ finish out the album. Both of these songs are equal parts doom and gloom; slow crawling and morbid slices of electro-industrial.
Thus my journey with “Factory Evolution” came to an end. Out of the eleven tracks on the album, the only one that I can realistically and whole-heartedly not recommend is ‘Violence’. Sure, there are other songs on the album that I do have a few minor gripes with, but they were not the types where I found myself pressing the skip button to get to the next song. When Dirt Factory shines (‘Pandemicamania’, ‘Automation’), the duo are able to turn the tides of electro-industrial beat making in their favor. The future does seem bright for the duo, and they have another album nearing completion due for release in 2021. And I’m ready for it. Seven out of ten!
This review was commissioned through our Ko-fi page.
Apr 26 2021
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.
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