Perhaps anticipating the forthcoming return to action of countrymate Cerrone, Justice, here, have a good old stab at faintly ludicrous space-disco that somehow, just about, works. The majority of the tracks are about as far as it’s possible to be from previous crunchfests like ‘Genesis‘, but, in a low-slung, sleazy fashion, they are, for the most part, a triumph. Could quite easily soundtrack an even camper remake of Flash Gordon but still, there’s worse things to be.
From the Afrocentric vocal of opener ‘Safe and Sound‘, there’s a warmness and understated joy about the whole album. That introduction to the record is quite out of step with the tumultuous times we live in but, perhaps that’s the whole point. It’s impossible not to smile and wriggle to, something that, whatever else is going on, should never be forgotten. The bassline may be inches away from being cheesey but the strings and louche groove are as full of quality as they are irresistible. Dance whilst the fat baby flings…us into global oblivion.
That utter lack of self-conciousness defines all ten tracks from the French duo, Xavier de Rosnay and Gaspard Augé. You need some front to stick out a dance record with track titles like ‘Heavy Metal‘, ‘Alakazam!‘ and ‘Randy‘. After that, whatever is put down on wax is a walk in the park. The low-fi-sounding keyboards drifting in from time to time over the fattest of basslines manage to actually sound perfect for a song like ‘Fire‘. Lord knows what the simple vocal has do with anything but, why not?
In a lot of ways, all this adds up to what may seem a very simple record. Whilst one presumes it’s construction was far from that, the immediacy, the bass-pleasure is not about deep analysis. Sure, it stands up to that – there’s a lot going on here – but, like the deceptive ‘Get Lucky‘ by fellow Gallic countrymen Daft Punk, it just appears to work, effortlessly. Who knows, perhaps it won’t last as a timeless artifact? Indeed, I have my doubts about that. But as a heard on the radio through a van window effort, Woman is unimpeachable. Fans of their heavier side are catered for with the post-industrial dystopia rustled up by ‘Chorus‘. Even that seething chugger has an incongruous choir warbling on in an ecclestical fashion to annoy the purists, however.
That is one thing this record is not. One for the purists. It’s a pop record through and through, with all that entails. Sure, it’s made by fellows who know their way around every bit of electronica known to man but, it’s far too eccentric to fit into many (any) straight up techno or house clubs. And why not? Frivolous lunacy has a lot to commend it when it’s not dreary or try-hard. Dip your toes into this highly refined but joyously daft pool of Justice madness.
God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.