Flanch gives electronic music a visual, religious twist

Peter Timberlake and Ben Peterson began their experimental electronic hip-hop project Flanch a little more than a year ago. They will take it to the stage for the first time Friday night when they open for electronic artist JLin at the Bishop.

Timberlake said the show will be less of a concert and more of a visual performance, incorporating their album that was released in February.

“The whole project has been pretty visually based, so we’re going to try to make sure that carries over to the field and make sure it’s really sonically satisfying but also visually as well,” 
Timberlake said.

Timberlake said he created the visuals for the project in 3-D modeling programs.

“I actually work in visual effects right now, so it feels right,” he said. “It feels like I have a native space in the Flanch project.”

Peterson said his and Timberlake’s religious upbringings led them to explore the theme of religion through their music. Timberlake said he wanted the project to sound like worship music.

“I’m just trying to deal with that idea maybe in a non-traditional way,” he said. “So instead of, like, going to church, we chose to make music about it and chose to explore it that way. It’s really fulfilling and interesting to explore religion through 

Peterson also said one of the major themes of the album is the juxtaposition of how the hyper-digital, computer-based world can work with ancient ideas of religion and Christianity.

“How can something be ancient and sacred but also be totally synthetic?” Timberlake said. “It feels like the world is pretty much totally synthetic right now and people have to worship God in this weird new world of coding languages.”

Both Timberlake and Peterson said they are excited to be playing a show with artist JLin.

“It’s a pretty sweet honor, I think, for us to open for her just because artistically she’s someone who we’ve looked up to for the last couple years now,” Peterson said. “As far as the first show goes, what could be better?”

Ben Wittkugel, booking agent for Winspear Records, said the show is important because electronic music is not often showcased in Bloomington. Wittkugel said rapper Sirius Blvck, who was featured on Flanch’s album, will accompany some of their tracks during the live 

While Timberlake and Peterson said their live performance will definitely include visuals, they haven’t yet fine-tuned every detail of what their performance will entail.

“We have some really cool ideas,” Peterson said. “There’s no reason the spirit of just doing shit for the hell of it should stop at the recording ... I think the performance should be as crazy as possible.”

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