Most of Flotation Toy Warning met for the first time whilst working in North London in a sprawling old grey brick building enveloped in trees - a former women’s refuge, then place for injured soldiers to convalesce during World War I.
Choosing a name from words written on beach balls and swimming rings, they agreed to live together in a warehouse with no windows in East London. Converted from an old clothes factory it was ideal for making as much noise as you wanted, whenever you wanted. Which they did, whilst constructing a sound by plugging things into other things that shouldn’t rightly be plugged into anything. Then singing through them until something interesting happened.
This lead to a series of performances in churches, boats, art galleries and someone’s living room, two EPs then an album called Bluffer’s Guide to the Flight Deck. They subsequently became distracted for a considerable amount of time by something interesting they found written on a wall.
Thanks to some choice words of encouragement from a handsome French admirer, they finally came in from the cold in early 2016. After many years spent daydreaming whilst accumulating an impressive collection of unusually shaped novelty shoehorns, a sudden and overwhelming sense of urgency pushed Paul Carter to lock himself away in an abandoned church in North Wales. Here he frantically scribbled words to accompany musical ideas – some new and others that had been finely balanced on a shelf in an outhouse at the bottom of Ben Clay’s garden for several winters. This return from musical hibernation encouraged his fellow bandmates to wake up too. A realisation that ’some time later’ had become ’well, right now actually’ inspired all of Flotation Toy Warning to dust themselves down and finish the job. So it came to be that ’The Machine That Made Us’ was completed in early 2017. Parts of it were happy. Parts of it were sad. But everything that was difficult had come to an end. Much to the relief of a certain Gallic gentleman with a well chiselled jawline...
The Special Tape: 01 Popstar Researching Oblivion - 02 Live from the Lake in the Sky - 03 French Kids - 04 Best Boy Electric - 05 Untitled Bonus Track
“At once fascinating and bizarre, Flotation Toy Warning combine traditional folk instruments, murky breakbeats and a hyper-appealing pick-and-mix vocal style in their captivating sonic stew.” Rock Sound
“The quirkiness of The Flaming Lips with a bit of Granddaddy Americana and the production values of Mercury Rev circa ‘Deserter’s Songs’, left to stew in its own dolor just long enough to turn gently maudlin and you have some idea what flying machine test pilots and quirky inventors get up to when they aren’t flying or inventing things. A good record, but definitely not one to listen to before you head out to the pub.” Soundsxp.com
“one of the most naturally strange accompaniments to the onset of morning mists and eye searing sunsets imaginable.” Tangents
“swirls of guitar, looped samples and beautifully bereft vocals to beguiling lo-fi effect, recalling both DIY Flaming Lips and the glitchyside of Sparklehorse……Buckled but beauteous, psychedelic Victoriana with beats” Time Out
“… a halfway house between Grandaddy’s space-boy dreaming and Tindersticks ennui….we demand they be included on the Flaming lips’ tour now!” NME
” fine, atmospheric delights that sparkle like the aurora borealis and are rare treats and more proof that Flotation Toy Warning are one of the most beguiling delights of the year.” Music Week