Album Review: In Flagranti - Worse for Wear (Codek)

Holy Jesus and Mary in an empty stable, where the hell do I even begin to start (begin to start, is that an oxymoron? or some other long forgotten SAT vocabulary word that people use to look cool that can perfectly explain the situation? I am a little jealous of them and I digress.) to disect and explain the greatness that is In Flagranti's (one Sasha Crnobrnja of Brooklyn and Alex Gloor of fucking Sweden, what the fuck right!? These dudes don't ever make music face to face. Hats off.) newest effort, Worse for Wear (out on Codek Records)? Its sexy as hell, extremely danceable, mellow at times and it leaves you longing for hot sex with a hot stranger whose name you probably won't remember in the morning. How about we start at the top?

So the title tack Worse for Wear starts off with these alluring high heeled footsteps that remind me of boozed up nights chasing around those chic'ed out bohemian fashion/design/art chicks around dirty downtown LA disco clubs. Sexy, coi, and playful, the bass kicks come in to get that body moving and BAM, bassline for that ass. I have no idea what the sample is goin on about but it starts getting sexy as fuck. Perfect track for a random sexy encounter with a random sexy stranger.

Appropriately enough the second track, Prelude to Chaos, is exactly that. A prelude to an album that has more twists, turns, and deep creamy funk than a trip down Mr. Toad's wild ride.

This song can totally be the theme to a so-cheesy-its-actually-rather-amazing 80s, playboys turned cop, suspence-thriller tv show a la Miami Vice. Embarrassingly enough, the track made me feel rather sexy as hell and I kind of wanted to do a line of blow off of a smokin hot, blonde, giant-haired floozy's huge double d, fake plastic titty in an 1985 bright pink Ferrari Testarosa. All joking aside though this little ditty carries a bop to it that you cant help but get those hips swaying slowly from side to side, head pointed downwards, shadow dancing like you're too cool for life, too proud to smile or make eye contact with anyone, knowing that all eyes will eventually be on you. The groove is hypnotizing and is reminiscent of early Blondie, sprinkled with the too cool for school, dark wave swagger of Joy Division's more synthy danceable tracks. And right when you think that the track carries on too long, it abruptly ends with a massive tom tom hit and slams you face first into the dancefloor with the ultra funky disco soul groove entitled: Hollow Discourse.

Can you say FUNK!? This song is all about BASS LINE BASS LINE BASS LINE, tinged with the perfect amount of synthed out cowbells and spacey pads to make Ring My Bell crooner Anita Ward furious with envy. This track is all about that ass. Throwback to the hard dancing, hard partying days of the massive amounts of excess sex, drugs, and secrets of the Dionysian madness of Studio 54. And speaking of bass line, right after you almost start feeling guilty for doing all your friend's coke, the track comes in with a dusty sample saying, "Love, and a whole lot more," almost making you feel cuter than a cuddly little squirrel chomping on acorns. "Love, it has a different meaning for each individual, and now it can mean something very special for you." Go find someone sexy to take home. Now.

I realize these days, with laptop production and everyone and their grandmas putting together tracks, electronic dance music has lost a massive load of feel and soul that makes tracks come to life and actually gives the songs a personality. Something that turns a song into a sharp memory or feeling that you will always come back to whenever those sound waves hit your ear holes. Somehow, with all that said, the lads of In Flagranti have completely turned that sentiment on its head and made tracks with so much flare and personality that I swear I can hear and see an ultra wierd post modern turbo space funk jam band a la Parliament meets Schematic Wizard playing out Latter Day Methods in real time, complete with funky afros, neon body suits and space helmets. All sounds on this album somehow feel organic and analogue. Listen at 2:15! Are you fucking kidding me!? Bring that funk! Holy god so good!

Now then, after all that momentum that has built, lets take a moment to slowwww itttttt dowwwnnnnn. I don't know about you, but by this point in the album, I was completely out of breathe. On the Fringe came in like a much sexier, ivory white Noah's Arc in a sea of milk, helmed by Barry White, instead saving me from over exertion as opposed to flood. This arc had flowing white chocolate fountains, champagne on tap, white ivory, Swarovski crystal chandeliers and mirrors everywhere. All focal pointed by a giant shiny disco ball. There was white velvet carpet and pillows everywhere and tall long legged blondes in white one piece bikinis in need of kissing and massaging the pain out of you. Mmmm, thanks I needed that.

Now to get more intimate, these long legged women now stripped off their bikinis. They have undressed me and poured oil all over both mine and their bodies, and some have mounted me and others are writhing and swaying their bodies all over mine. The lights go dim and we have only spinning shards of disco ball light that illuminates the room like a soft rain of meteors careening across a night sky. Now I can't tell you what happened between myself and these long legged beauties, but all I can tell you is that after the last note of Three Piece Suit has finished playing, I will have calmly dressed myself, fixed my hair, and put a blanket over all these blonde, long-legged beauties who are now sound asleep, carried off to a lazer beam dream state.

Now then, my beauties are asleep, but I feel the night is still young. Time to hit that dance floor again, find another long legged beauty who can keep up with me and repeat the process all over again. Maybe a brunette this time. Alas, completely contrary to my usual lifestyle, I suppose I assume the roll of a Peculiar Protaganist.

Thrust back into reality, End of the Road begins with almost an eerie feel, as though a warning to something catastrophic to come. We all know how the 70s ended, and how fiendish things tend to become once you immerse yourself in excess and lose focus of what is important. I can't help but feel grateful to In Flagranti for this abrupt change of pace, as it kind of screwed my head back on straight. Still deep into the dance floor, I am now partying responsibly. Its funny, once that mindset, well, set in, a deep, hypnotic bass line had my mind traveling, slowly drifting from this plane off into space, and then almost out of nowhere, a light at the end of the tunnel. The 6:30 mark again abruptly changed the mood, and I found myself smiling uncontrollably, like a calm assertive hug from a long forgotten friend, full of love and reminiscence. This made the eerie feel much more manageable, and my mind came to ease as I knew that everything was going to be okay.

Building on that reassuring note, Anglo-Saxon Pragmatism had a very calming, cheerful vibe. A throwback to mellow 80s synth pop. This groove really builds, and is rewarding to the patient listener. Every minute had a new melody change and those beautiful soft arpeggios just kept carrying me further and further away from reality. This was a song I could really got lost in. The groove was heavy, the bass line was deep, the mellow synths slowly attacked and decayed perfectly like a breaking and receding wave. Needless to say my body was rockin up, down, sideways, left, right and my shoulders couldn't help but get down lower and lower throughout the entire track. What can I say, my body moves almost involuntarily as I get immersed in a sea of sound. I'm not entirely sure but this track might be my favorite on the album. The piano lines came out of nowhere and were reminiscent of Sir Elton John's form of funk. Get lost with me.

Right when my mellow funk was just about as deeply mellow as I could get, the lads of In Flagranti bring us way down to the ending track entitled: Knock Out Logic. Now the opening rhythm track is a straight dance floor banger. The heavy syncopated toms coupled with those loose high hats tightly held together by that four to the floor kick was getting me jackin and forcing my body way down low. This is a track I would most definitely play out at a DJ gig. And like all dance floor bangers, this track is meant to be felt, so don't waste your time reading this and having me tell you how incredibly good this song is, press play and fucking dance!

All in all, I give this album a 9 out of 10. The only reason it doesn't receive a perfect score is because this album is so brilliant and deep, that your casual listener will most definitely overlook most of these tracks subtle greatness just because of the length of the songs (as some clock in at just over nine minutes). Shit, most people won't even read this review because of its length. Most listeners, and just people in general these days, have a.d.d. and need constant stimulation and change from a song that the overall tones and messages from the tracks will be grossly overlooked. That being said, this album is greatly rewarding for the patient listener. The longer tracks only get better with time, as I was pleasantly surprised by the tracks. So hang in there! Trust me! As you can read, this album took me to very far and distant places throughout the universe, all colliding, melting and meeting back up on the dance floor. Incredibly enough, this album carries a brash juxtaposition of being both a listener's and a dancer's album. With enough mental stimulation to inspire art and creativity and enough dirty bass line and fat rhythms to keep that ass bouncing (and hopefully bring some ass into your bedroom). Please do yourself a favor and fucking run as fast as you can to your nearest record store (or computer) and get your hands on In Flagranti's, Worse for Wear. This album has played in its entirety almost 5 times a row. And that is just the start. Thanks for reading and dance responsibly people. Love to all.



1 comment:

  1. awesome review man..as i said in the milc group: i told you mostly everything i thought already, but overall i love how you include a lot of personality in your review, and not just giving it a technical view. obivously the group dosent need a technical review because they sound like they are masters of their craft! honestly not really into disco much, but i was really feeling their less dancy stuff and the more down tempo business! great review cant wait to check out the next one, seriously good writing!