13 Different Ways: Nik Colk Void Of Factory Floor's Favourite LPs
, September 9th, 2013 09:11
As Factory Floor release their debut album, we speak to Nik Colk Void about musical re-education and her favourite 13 LPs. They're a noisy bunch...
Those who like to mistakenly criticise Factory Floor for somehow being a 'lazy' band ought examine the output of their guitarist, vocalist and stage-right electronics manipulator Nik Cold Void over the past few years. As the group have carved out their debut album, she's taken on a workload that encompasses working on the O Genesis record label, recent performances with Simon Fisher Turner and Ashley Paul, her 'Gold E' 7" with its deteriorating sleeve, the various Factory Floor live installations at the ICA, and of course Carter Tutti Void, that superlative evening at the Roundhouse where a live collaboration with Chris Carter and Cosey Fanni Tutti became one of the best albums of 2012. It's an inquisitive approach that seems to characterise Colk Void's development as an artist, as she herself explains: "I moved to London in 2006, and before that I always looked at music in the way that most people do - you get albums, you write 12 tracks, and that's what I'd been doing for a good ten years. I mentally wanted to get away from that because I was really starting to despise music - 'this isn't satisfying me whatsoever, I feel I can do this with my eyes closed.'"
Colk Void adds that unlike those who might come from the musical academy, she had to re-programme her creativity herself: "If you go to Goldsmiths or something they probably teach you that in the first year that you're there, that the way to move forward is to reinvent, and musically the way of thinking is more important than the way of practising it. I always followed rules before, and thought you had to follow rules because if you didn't you wouldn't get anywhere. The fact was that I wasn't getting anywhere because I was playing the same stuff over and over again, and I felt like I was stuck in a hole. So it was 'Do I either walk away from it completely, or do I just get rid of everything, erase my memory, and start again?'
"So that's what I did. I sought out other musicians who took on that approach, probably not for those reasons but for academic reasons, and I'm totally not academic in music at all. I went off and did a lot of recordings on my own for no reason other than to learn a different way of recording guitar, layering it, making it sound not like a guitar, cut it out as samples, minimalising tracks. I'd start off with a concentrated song, track or idea, I started to collect these recordings and then a year later I'd have a linear guitar line for 14 minutes, and I thought 'Wow, that's saying far more to me than those songs where I'm trying to be someone else.'"
Similar effort went in to what Nik Colk Void says was a rather tortuous process of choosing her 13 albums for our Baker's Dozen. It comes from a long history of collecting vinyl, starting in Norwich in the late 90s:
"I started buying records when I was in my late teens and early 20s when I started to DJ. From the money I made at my club I'd go out and buy vinyl, so I've got quite a big collection, so it was quite difficult to whittle it down to 13. I like records for many different reasons, cover art as well as their content. There are a lot of albums that I've bought for the artwork, and then discovered that it's really bad or absolutely amazing."
Click the picture of Nik Colk Void below to begin the countdown. Factory Floor is out now, and they play Rough Trade East tonight