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In Flagranti - In it together

Since their inception in early 2000's In Flagranti have secured a firm following with their cut and paste disco aesthetic. Their new album, 'Worse For Wear', steps away from the duo's vintage porn sensibilities, but while inspired by trashed goods and recycled productions, is still clearly stamped with the signature In Flagranti sound. Kiersten Seeto speaks to Sasa Crnobrnja and Alex Gloor, who have just mixed the latest Pulse podcast 26.

Download In Flagranti's Pulse Radio podcast here

Pulse: Alex, you’re renowned for finding inspiration in thrift stores, flea markets and even roadside trash. Does this mean Worse for Wear is a second hand album? Alex: No, by the time you get it, it's a third-hand album, remember we use second-hand samples! No, seriously, we enjoy manipulating found material like movies, images and sounds, re-arranging them into something new and making them our own. That way we never know what we end up with. We don't have a set idea; sometimes things work together by pure chance.

Worse For Wear is less provocative than Wronger Than Anyone Else and Brash & Vulgar. Is this an indication that In Flagranti are slowing down or getting old? Alex: I feel like we're hardly moving some times, but other times we kick ass and we're fast like lightning, we did a remix for Hercules and the Love Affair in less the 20 minutes last month. He loved it and we made so much money, we laughed all the way to the bank.

Do you think your albums reflect social cultures and trends of the time or are they more of a personal reflection? Alex: It's a personal reflection of all things we have experienced in the 60s, 70s, 80s and beyond. There are lots of different elements that make up In Flagranti like, movies, music, magazines and Internet. We let all of that inspire us to do tracks and have fun with it.

How did the two of you come to working together? Sasa: we started Codek records in '95 and were releasing different artists. One day I listened to a DAT tape full with disco breaks that Alex recorded for another producer. The guy didn't know what to do with it, so when I got my hands on that DAT I immediately started sampling and chopping up beats and made a few tracks. After playing it to Alex, we decided to start a new project and focus just on that. That's when we first released In Flagranti "Day In Day Out" in 2002.

New Yorkers and Londoners are very familiar with your work, how do the Europeans and other parts of the U.S react to your style? Sasa: We generally get great response no matter where we play. It can be in El Paso, Texas or Warsaw, Poland. I don't think there is that much difference anymore, people around the world now have access to the same things via Internet.

In Flagranti - Worse For Wear (original mix) from in flagranti

Considering the two of you are very rarely in the same room when creating a track, is it common for you to take weeks or months to perfect a track? Is this why you’ve been quoted as saying you prefer to release EPs? Alex: No, we work fast and do a lot of tracks. Sometimes we rediscover something we had done five years ago and it sounds perfect for today, so we release it. Doing albums is just an accumulation of ten tracks that fit together on a CD. Vinyl's different; you’re done with three tracks so you can release more in a shorter time frame. All that has changed since digital releasing is that music can be sold and downloaded through the Internet, now you can do an album or EP everyday if you felt like it.

I read that sometimes you may only use half a bar of a drumbeat from a particular sample and reuse it in the recording of a song. How many different loops and samples can be used to create one In Flagranti track? Sasa: A drum break from a vinyl that has a certain sound that I like is a basic tool. I can chop it in to smaller bits and have the kick, snare and hi-hat's separate. Then I can reprogram the drum pattern or add the single sounds to another drum kit to create different colours. I don't like working with too many tracks, usually eight to 16 tracks, so that's the amount of samples, instruments, vocals etc that I layer.

In Flagranti’s low-fi sound has become a trademark. Why was this deliberate choice made? Alex: It was more like "making a virtue out of necessity", the samples gave us the sound and we had to work with what was at hand. By combining sounds form different sources we ended up with something unpredictable. There is no way of telling what a Phil Collins snare will sound like with a konga from Guem until you hear them together.

From Worst For Wear, which track was the most difficult to accomplish? Is it a personal favourite from the album?
Alex: The Worst for Wear album was just tracks that laid around and fit together, so I can't tell you what was more difficult to make. If I had to pick one as my favorite it would be Knock Out Logic, it just works perfect with the video footage of a video game I used to play in the early 80's called Tempest. It is an arcade game by Atari Inc., originally designed and programmed by David Theurer. Released in October 1981, it was fairly popular and had several ports and sequels. The game is also notable for being the first video game with a selectable level of difficulty (determined by the initial starting level). The game is a tube shooter, a shoot 'em up game where the environment is fixed and viewed from a three-dimensional perspective.

 

 

Kiersten Seeto

In Flagranti on Pulse Radio

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