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FLANCH Prepares for First-Ever Live Performance
Posted September 14, 2016 by Greg Lindberg
WRITTEN BY
Greg Lindberg
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September 14, 2016
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FLANCH sounds like some sexualized/food-induced onomatopoeia, and it’s just one letter off from a Breaking Bad dipping sauce. Those are just first impressions on the name of the Indianapolis producers, who released their electronic and hip-hop-inspired self-titled album on Darling Records earlier this year. According to the description on their Bandcamp page, “FLANCH comes from this secular place that sits upon a well of Christian ideals and vocabulary.” And, that’s your introduction to FLANCH.

With comparisons to producer, Arca, FLANCH aren’t afraid to mix smoothed out pop and R&B with experimental harsh glitches and demonized hip-hop – all spaced around themes of religion and the Internet. Producer, Peter Timberlake, and co-producer, Ben Peterson, put the album together. Their standout debut also features guest spots from some talented up-and-coming Indiana artists, including Devin Dabney, Sirius Blvck, and Stone Irr. Many of those guests will join FLANCH for their live debut at The Bishop in Bloomington on Friday, September 16. Critically praised electronic artist and Indiana native from Gary, Jlin, will headline the show.

Before Friday’s show, read an in-depth interview that our Greg Lindberg conducted with Timberlake.    

 

Greg Lindberg: Do you find any challenges with integrating hip-hop with such frantic electronic instrumentals? 

Peter Timberlake: It is challenging to make music like this, but I think all my favorite projects have an “edge” that comes from “making-it-up-as-you-go.” From the producer's prospective though, we only need to worry about the “frantic electronic instrumentals,” and were lucky to work with super talented emcees who invented ways of the “integrating the hip-hop” part. From there, it's our job to bring those performances into our world and make them feel native and at home, which is really actually fun. 

GL: ATiny Mix Tapes review concludes that the album features purposefully conflicted themes of the Internet, both online and offline, with religion (ex. “Internet God”). How does the Internet inform the music you make?

PT: Firstly, I have this feeling that it seems like “god” and the Internet are mutually exclusive and somehow can't coexist. The Internet is real, I think, at least it seems to be real, but I don't really have the emotional feeling toward my friend's Twitter profile that I have toward my actual physical friend. So maybe the Internet somehow doesn't exist? And “god” obviously has his set of existential issues. So the idea behind the record was something of a face-off between those two ideas. It's also very weird to me to juxtapose something so ancient, prehistoric even, set in stone, with something that has been invented so recently, and is growing and changing at a way out-of-control rate.

 

GL: Why in particular did you decide to have religious themes on the album?

PT: It was really inevitable, I think. We were both built in a like, factory of Christianity, meaning we are hard-wired to think like god-fearing people. For both of us, as we grew up and Christianity started seeming less and less plausible, it's like that wiring was ripped up, and that's really a pretty painful process. We had to replace those mechanisms with different solutions. We made FLANCH as a mosaic of the broken pieces of that Christian experience.

 

GL: Did experiences from Indiana lend themselves to the thought process of creating this album? 

PT: To be honest, yeah. For me, writing this music was very much a reaction to Indiana, because I was so tired of hearing rock bands play. I wanted to make something rarer and interesting, that felt really androgynous and raw and openhearted and weird. But yeah, also a reaction to the crazy, crazy degree to which religion is sewn-into the culture of the Midwest.

GL: This album is such a collaborative production. How did it come together to include so many artists from Indiana?

PT: We're from Indiana, so most of our relationships with artists are here. It basically started with a mixtape demo, which Ben and I sent between each other for a few weeks. We then started asking around about local rappers. 

 

GL: Sirius Blvck and Devin Dabney are two of my favorite Indy rappers. How did you get involved with them, and what was it like working with them on the album?

PT: Devin's name came up really early. After we got the first few verses in from him, we were totally blown away and super happy (and lucky) to have him really be the primary voice of this project. He is really special because this music is so technically demanding, but also intellectually demanding. It seems like a miracle that we were actually able to find each other.

As for Sirius, we reached out to him with the track, and he said he'd be happy to do it. I went to his apartment with basically a laptop, a mic, and this 50-year-old tube preamplifier, which I had just driven down to New Orleans to buy on Craigslist from this old legendary jazz studio. He did the verse a couple of times, and then I left.

 

GL: What are some influences currently that inform how you create your own music?

PT: Yeah, Arca is a major influence on this music. But really, I think Jesse Kanda, the guy who does visuals for Arca was maybe a bigger influence than Arca really? Other than that, a huge influence on this project was Christian worship music. A lot of it uses really inadvertently sexual language to talk about God. On FLANCH, we kind of do that too, and vice-versa. We also used a lot of language from Song of Solomon. I feel like Song of Solomon was definitely not intended to be in the Bible, and Solomon probably wrote it in the same headspace as we wrote FLANCH. For those who don't know, Song of Solomon is a series of poems about sex, tucked away in the Old Testament. It uses poetic, flowery, old Jewish language to talk about really dirty stuff.

 

GL: What can people expect at the Bloomington show from a live set?

PT: Little sisters.

 

If you go:

Jlin, Flanch, and Sirius Blvck

Time: 8:30 p.m., Friday, Sept. 16

Location: The Bishop, 123 S. Walnut St, Bloomington, IN 47404

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