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Factums: A Primitive Future

Factums: A Primitive Future

Release Date:2008

By Mike McGonigal | Posted 8/27/2008

It's hard to not be a sucker for soundtracks to imaginary movies--from Jack Bruce's obvious "Theme for an Imaginary Western" to Boris' Mabuta No Ura album to, well, there must be others--because so many records feel like imaginary soundtracks. Factums are a Seattle-based trio composed of dudes who've played in the Intelligence and Fruit Bats. They've been around a few years now and released solid albums on Kill Shaman and Siltbreeze. But it's here, released fully from the confines of traditional song structure, that we find their strangest, most compelling work thus far. Set 2,000 years in the future, the record paints a dystopian picture where nature has reclaimed urban space and the few humans left find themselves hunted.

Eerie sound effects bubble out from creaky electronics throughout. Crickets chirp, but they sound like giant machine crickets that want to eat your face. Factums deliberately limit their palette so much here--to dark gray and black, basically--that the little changes in tone become huge and big changes are downright psychedelic. Long sections of repetitive and fractured garage rock butt up against shards of spooky, art-damaged sub-pop. The long bits recall the most monochromatic, distended jams of the Dead C. Chrome is an obvious antecedent, as it's the OG of creepy, sci-fi, metal-machine music. But this is far more abstract and minimal than any of Damon Edge's music.

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