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Justice Review

Album. Released 2007.  

BBC Review

The Gallic dance duo's debut album puts them firmly into the major league...

Louis Pattison 2007

Justice are Gaspard Auge and Xavier de Rosnay, two young Parisian producers who carved out their own space on the crowded dancefloor a couple of years back with their remix of Simian’s ‘‘Never Be Alone’’. Standing out amongst the faceless ranks for bedroom dance producers is not an easy task, yet Justice made it appear so. Their debut single proper, the mighty ‘‘Waters Of Nazareth’’, was the sort of pummelling document that suggested this band had arrived fully formed, with their huge-sounding, muscular beats, rough electronics and bass turned up to the point of distortion.

Actually, Justice’s debut album suggests this Gallic twosome throw their net somewhat wider. Yes, the opening ‘‘Genesis’’ is a massive, sludgy techno throb that feels not so much expertly crafted as messily stapled together out of twitching blocks of sound. But almost from the get-go, it’s like Justice are eager to branch out their signature sound into new territories. ‘‘Let There Be Light’’ seems to take its sad melody from an aged busker’s melancholy accordion lament. ‘‘D.A.N.C.E’’ hitches powerful beats to a funky chassis that suggests intimate knowledge of New York disco legends Chic – and tops it off with a Jackson 5-style chorus supplied by a crowd of English school children. And on ‘‘The Party’’, Justice’s Ed Banger labelmate, 20-year old Miami rapper Uffie turns up to front a perky pop number that privileges sunny good vibes over head-stoving beats.

Importantly, though, while there’s much here to suggest Justice are more than one-trick ponies, there’s also enough muscle to prove the pair haven’t forgotten what made them big in the clubs. Consequently, perhaps the most impressive track here is ‘‘Stress’’. A brutally heavy, super-dense concoction of air-raid sirens and whirling violins, it sounds like nothing less than the bathroom scene from Psycho set to beats. People have been calling Justice ‘the new Daft Punk’, but that’s only half the story. This big, bold record is the sound of leaders – not followers.

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