Friday, April 24, 2009
(edited by aleks: i totally left miss toats hanging with this, she finished this interview off some time in march and due to my slacking, it's only up here now. so if you want to bitch about anything, blame it on me. or even better: don't bitch at all, just enjoy another great interview on discodust!)
i finally got to sit down with sasha from in flagranti as he was passing through town to chat about the fuel that keeps his group going. him and his parter, alex, have written their own rule book for musical success which ultimately doesn't make them play by any rules at all.
in flagranti - i'm sorry i'm terribly sensitive
'brash and vulgar' was released march 20th on codek records. don't forget to check out the label website to watch the backlog of amazing vintage footage paired with the sweet sounds of in flagranti.
miss toats: i've never seen you guys play live. i know you've had vocalists perform with you and you've dabbled with synths, but what will your show look like tonite?
sasha (in flagranti): what i'm doing is dj'ing with my own loops in ableton live. basically i use all my music making tools and elements of songs that i've already made and just shuffle them around and layer them different ways. in the end it will sound like i'm djing, but i'm making up tracks as i go. each set sounds different from the last. i actually discover new things each time i play. that usually inspires me to try new things and i end up making more tracks when i get home.
so what happened to the live performers? it seems to be a more entertaining medium and almost a lost art in this scene.
ya, my goal is to have more of a live show, but it's hard financially. it's just not economical right now to bring a vocalist and drummer. when i go to europe in march, i'll be live with alex. he'll have a keyboard and he'll control the visuals. we want it to coincide with the music, just like our videos do.
yes, i've noticed how much your graphics really contribute to your whole aesthetic. i find myself looking forward to the vintage footage almost as much as i look forward to the new music.
the video is almost an explanation for the music. you might initially hear a song and not 'get it' but after seeing the images, it just makes sense. if we could manage to get it working live, we'd do the images. but those images are part of us, too. like my stepdad had those magazines and we'd love to look at them back then.
that's something that alot of people don't do much of. sure, they might make a music video, but they don't have strong visuals attached to each and every song. and alex seems to only use a small portion of footage, but cuts it up and loops it in a way that's visually appealing.
the music is the same way. hip hop first introduced sampling and looping. in a way it's the same technique. you find one part that you like and mess with it - cut/paste, extend, loop, etc.
so do you have to get a lot of samples cleared for your original tracks?
the stuff that's obvious we don't put on our album. i don't sample stuff like james brown or michael jackson. you probably won't recognize what we use. if i walk home and there's a stack of records in the garbage and i find some shit that i like, i'll probably use it. to me, it's a freebie and i don't care about who has the copyright. i'm not going to take the whole melody so you know where i took it from. i'll use it to mess around with. i'll take a drum kick that's half a bar long, so its a bit different. i mean find someone who can tell me 'oh i know he took that kick from that song' and then we'll have something to talk about.
it's funny because it kind of turns into a game for some people. they love searching and discovering the original material and incorporate it into their dj sets. i still enjoy watching the videos from your first full length album. since then you've mostly just released ep's, but i know you're just about to release your next full length. has your philosophy changed seeing as how the music market has changed?
i guess no one really knows how it's going to evolve. i have a feeling that this is going to be our last full-length. people can pick and choose which tracks they want to purchase digitally, so there's really no benefit to putting out twelve tracks at once anymore.
i suppose you are playing by your own rules. you should because you are cultivating your own sound and operating kind of as your own entity. touring in such a blog house-filled world, what cities have you gotten the best responses?
definitely more in europe than america. i have also played a few really nice parties in america thrown by people who understand our music and what we're trying to do. we end up being really well received. i think in europe, the mainstream may be even a bit more in tune with what we do. here, the mainstream and us are worlds apart. people still throw good parties here. the rhonda party here in los angeles is the perfect example of a party where everything is right. it was perfect from the first record i put on to the last one. it's probably the best party i've ever done. in europe, belgium seems to be on top of music.
maybe soulwax has just cultivated them into music connaisseurs. it's such a weird time in music right now. the harder blog house isn't generating as much steam any more, and disco is starting to pick up. where do you guys feel that you fit in the mix with all of this?
i'm not quite sure, but i'm not only interested in disco. i like punk. i like rock. i'm not going to be doing disco until i die. to be honest, i'm kind of taking advantage of the resurgance of disco. i went disco dancing when i was 13, so if people want to do it again, let's do it again. i can adapt. as long as there is a fair amount of girls, and a good vibe, i can cope. i just need substance.
with your own style of production and musical taste, who do you consider your peers these days? todd terje? riton? holy ghost?
all of them. i admire them, i just don't follow any of them. i still follow the old stuff. i keep in touch with people that keep in touch with me. i can't speak for alex, but for me it's definitely all the old stuff i grew up with. i go back and get inspiration from that. i still am amazed when i find an old vinyl from the 70's that i've never heard of. the digging never stops.
where do you normally dig?
i dont dig anymore. that stopped maybe 5-6 years ago. there's a thrift store in greenepoint that has a million records with incredible music in there. i just can't stay for too long because i'm allergic to dust. so i leave the digging up to alex.
so what's your fantasy party setting to play in?
the best for me is if i don't know anyone because then i can really party. i can go crazy and don't have to worry about what people see me do.
i kind of picture you in studio 54 with diana ross over there and halston over there...
i think i'd to go back to the 70's, even 60's, but at the age i am now.
so would i.
Posted by Miss Toats at 10:47 PM