JUSTICE at Circa (126 John), tonight (Thursday, October 18), 9 pm doors. $21.50 via Rotate This (620 Queen West) or Soundscapes (572 College). Rating: NNNNN
Parisian production duo Justice have often been described as the new Daft Punk, due to their interest in rock-infused house music, their French background and huge crossover appeal.
At first, the comparison flattered Gaspard Augé and Xavier de Rosnay. But these days it wouldn't be surprising to hear that Daft Punk are the ones benefiting from the comparison.
It's not just lazy journalism connecting the two biggest Paris dance music duos. It's obvious that Justice grew up hearing Daft Punk and are pleased that critics put them in the same class.
At the same time, Justice's wild success has in some ways lent a bit of underground credibility to their forefathers. Maybe Justice aren't headlining stadiums yet, but judging from how fast the tickets sold out for this gig (not to mention how hard it is to get them to answer the phone for an interview), it probably won't be long.
Ten years ago, Homework changed the face of dance music, making house the focus of a fractured scene and seducing thousands of indie kids to put down their guitars and buy drum machines. Justice's debut, , aka Cross (EdBanger/Vice), is well on its way to accomplishing the same thing for this generation. Not only does it look like it'll be the dance music album of the year, but it's also one of the best full albums of club music this millennium.
Already, you're seeing upstart producers being tagged "the new Justice," and that pop-metal-disco-techno sound they've honed over the past four years is dominant at cool parties all over the world. Detractors claim it's a one-trick-pony formula, but if you listen to the whole , you quickly realize Justice are capable of far more than the riff-heavy fist-pumpers they're most associated with.
The most obvious example is their ridiculously catchy current single, D.A.N.C.E., which owes as heavy a debt to Quincy Jones as it does to anything related to indie dance. The dozens of unofficial remixes floating around the Web all sound like what you'd expect (buzz saw synths and crunchy drums), but it's the original's surging strings and popping funk bass that reveal a glimpse of what they're actually up to. Some artists use formulas as a substitute for ideas; these guys are using theirs as a framework to tie all their disparate influences together.
Now more than ever, it makes perfect sense to be able to talk about Slayer and Chic in the same sentence. But Justice have helped create a musical climate where we don't even need to explain why metal riffs and disco licks should coexist.
Additional Video Clips
Video for D.A.N.C.E
Infamous video for Justice vs Simian "We Are Your Friends":
Kanye West freaks out at the MTV awards after losing to Justice:
More Marshall stacks then Metallica, a giant glowing crucifix, and a few thousand friends singing along at Coachella 2007:
Justice "live" on Jimmy Kimmel: