FOUND – factorycraft

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You’d be forgiven if music by a group often referred to as an “art collective” brings up stereotypes of pretentiousness and ostentatious experimentation. Where you would not be forgiven, however, is if you assumed that this meant they couldn’t create a high quality listenable pop album with appealing tunes.

The imaginations of the members of FOUND are not limited to the sounds they can create with the instruments that they play. Sequenced and synthesised music plays a big part on FOUND’s new album, ‘factorycraft’, released through Scotland’s near-legendary Chemikal Underground label. They do genuinely seem to be influenced by all forms of music, from 60s psychedelica, to breakbeat, and glam rock to lo-fi indie. They seem almost unencumbered by details like genre, or the sounds musical instruments normally make. ‘Blackette’, for example, brings together electronic drums, Britpop-guitars and the triangle in a way that sounds natural despite sounding like no other song recorded.

It’s true that the angularness of their execution and the lack of musical roots will keep this album forever out of the world of mass-market appeal, but at the same time the scale of the band’s creativity, eclecticism, and their ability to see the musical rulebook as a set of guidelines, puts ‘factorycraft’ into the realm of bands like Gorillaz and The Bees, who are ruled by the demand of the song they are creating; all other influencing factors are seen as distractions. Intelligent lyrics and the effortless integration of Scottish colloquialisms, not to mention their ingenious instrumentation and unconventional approach to digital effects, give FOUND the strength to hold their own as well.

While nearly every track is fascinating in its uniqueness, track one, ‘Anti-Climb Paint’, is definitely the star of the album. Special mention should also be made of the female backing vocalist, Nuala Kennedy, who appears at various points throughout the album adding a charm and naturalism to the tracks that might have been absent without her touch.

Factorycraft is FOUND’s third studio album, not including their self-released 2009 fundraising download album of re-mixes and rarities, ‘snarebrained’. It also continues the pattern of the band releasing every album on a different label, a pattern that is presumably happenstance rather than by design. Or maybe I’m wrong and the stereotypes were right all along. Maybe FOUND are too hipster-pretentious to release two albums through the same record company? I guess we’ll find out before too long.

Myke Hall
 

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