EXCURSIONS 009: IN FLAGRANTI

EXCURSIONS 009: IN FLAGRANTI

SWITZERLAND--> NYC
Words: Bad Lieutenant

Perhaps there is no one better suited for our Black Friday EXCURSIONS mix than the Swiss Dj duo and Codek record label owners In Flagranti. In Flagranti’s transgressive ethos stands in stark contrast to the discount sale of neatly packaged consumer products on this late capitalist holiday. For nearly 30 years, Alex Gloor and Sasa Crnobrnja have laid waste to social mores through their art and music production.

Alex and Sasa both grew up in Switzerland. They met by chance in a record store in Basel in 1991 when a conversation sparked over cosmic records. A friendship was forged based on their mutual artistic influences and future ambitions. Alex would continue to live in New York City where he’d been located since 1984. Sasa would move from Basel to the Big Apple in ‘93. During their time in NYC, they’d rub shoulders with many downtown luminaries, whilst continuing to pull on the threads of the sleazy, DIY fabric that had been laid before them, contesting Giuliani’s efforts to sterilize Manhattan in hopes of extinguishing its seedy past.



Once Alex moved back to Basel in the early 2000’s, Sasa and he would stay artistically connected through exchanges over the internet. Sasa would continue to discover material of all varieties from the bowels of New York. From VHS cut ups to obscure disco slices layered with audio clips, the pair would morph this material into a singular In Flagranti aesthetic. In Flagranti soon began touring the world dj’ing while pushing their records through France’s Discograph distribution.



Dig through In Flagranti’s record covers and party flyers over the past 20 years and you’ll find an assortment of lurid artwork, representing long term influences from the transgressive art and cinema world of late 20th century NYC. As electronic music continues its move into popular consumption, In Flagranti remains impervious to trend, continuing to deliver a visceral, and at times ,vulgar, DIY Punk patois to the dance music vernacular. Sleaze is a thematic through line in their work. As Alex and Sasa say, ”We use everything we like… (from) when we were growing up in the 70’s… images, sounds, movies. In Flagranti is the lived memories mixed in a giant blender and re-assembled into a fantastic conundrum.”


EXCURSIONS 009 is an aural kaleidoscope in true In Flagranti fashion. Seedy sounds leak from every orifice of the mix echoing memories of the past. Like Fear City in the 1980s, caution is advised …

Of course, being Black Friday we had to create an exclusive product in honor of this mix: naturally, an OVER&OVER / INFLAGRANTI T-Shirt.

Message to consumers: GET YOURS WHILE SUPPLIES LAST!

Q&A:
 
Hi Alex and Sasha. Thank you both for contributing to our series. We’re very excited to have you on having been fans of your work for some time.  
 
The last year has been challenging for everyone, but especially artists.  How are you surviving?  Have you welcomed the break from clubbing to focus on other things?
 
Sasa: Of course I miss playing out and being with friends... Fortunately I got some other music work that doesn't involve djing or clubbing but the struggle is real.
 
Are there particular musicians, artists or cinema that influenced your work the most?  NYC or otherwise?
 
Sasa: Pretty much everything that came out of the 70's was a big influence on me, I was in my early teenage years and soaked up everything, Funk, Disco, Punk, Glam Rock, Hard Rock... The early part of the 80's when I was starting to dj, it was bands like Material, Liquid Liquid, A Certain Ratio and also African music like Toure Kunda, King Sunny Ade, Fela Kuti etc... Then I stumbled on the Cosmic scene in Italy which blew my mind, the djs there were just mixing it all up into a continuous hypnotic mix with disregard for the original tempo/pitch or genre.
 
What have been your favorite In Flagranti record covers or flyers from the past 20 years?
 
Sasa: They are all great, i’ll pick Intergalactic Bubblegum. 
 
Alex: The cover for Grand Central Shuttle from 2008 is very special to me. It’s the first one made without a computer, i went back to what i was doing in 1983, work analog with tear sheets from books & magazines to create a collage. Fascinated by the powerful picture/situation i created with two totally unrelated images made me do hundreds of them, some i used for other releases like the one on Phantasy Sound called Headrush. All the collages i made during that time are a very powerful, depicted situations that never happened, seeing them made me realise i was creating my own imaginary past, an idea that had a profound effect on me & my work.

Tell us what’s happening with your label currently.  Do you have any major plans for 2021?
 
Sasa: We never have big plans and don't plan too far ahead. We got a release coming out in January 2021 by a NY avant garde trio called BBF. It's experimental music not for dancefloors and fits well with the times we live in.
 
Finally, we know you live across the ocean from each other and have produced music asynchronously for years now.  Was that true for this mix? Anything you can tell us about it?
 
Sasa: I live in London now so it's not a big Ocean anymore but we still bounce files back and forth. Alex did the first 30 min and I did the later half.

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