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Justice, electronic music icon, survives his own wrinkles: ‘Discos are for young people’

Now in their forties, the members of the French duo recall their triumphant return to Coachella with a new album by reflecting on existence, aging and the search for the new

An album of electronic music to listen to in the car, he suggests Xavier de Rosnayhalf of justiceelectronic music duo born in the early 2000s, in view of the new album, Hyperdramareleased at the end of April.

The other half of the duo, the shy one Gaspard Augéproposes something even more extravagant and unexciting for a hormone-numbed young man: listening to the duo’s fourth studio album with his body stretched out on a carpet, on the living room floor – if there is a carpet in your living room, of course, otherwise , he suggests the floor or a sofa, what matters is the horizontality of the body and, I suppose, a distance from the bed, after all the aim is not to sleep.

Maybe it’s a reflection of the time. OR justiceiconic of the beginning of the millennium, achieved rapid acclaim in pop music when it emerged in the first half of the last decade, between 2004 and 2005, signing remixes of artists such as the popular Britney Spears (in the album B in the Mix: the Remixes), the classic Pet Shop Boys (in Back to mine), the indie Cup Copy (in Fabriclive.29) and also other names in electronic music, such as Steve Aoki (Pillowface and his airplane chronicles) and Daft Punk (in Human After All (Remix)).

After that, and with the success of the song DANCEpopular both on dance floors and in gyms around the world, the justice he has established himself as one of the powers of organic and living electronic music, which dialogues with the ancient, music played with the hands and with the robotic future of magic buttons.

While traditional electronic music closed itself in its sub-boxes, Gaspard Augé and Xavier de Rosnay were two graphic designers interested in escaping any standard or label. And it was too beautiful.

Justice mixed progressive rock (transformed into synthesized harmonies, for example), metal or new wave, while using the bass of funk and disco music to bring swing into play.

Over the course of these almost two decades, the group has released three unreleased albums: Through (2007), Audio, video, disc (2011) e woman (2016). There was a long period without studio work. What is explained, they say, is the need to find a sound that points to something new, new. And this requires hours and hours in the studio.

Hyperdrama, for example, started being made in 2020, just before the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. And it was only completed in 2024. In the eight years in between women AND Hyperdrama“living life,” they joke, while also spearheading other smaller projects, like the solo album Escapesby Gaspard Augé.

“It’s not that we are distant these days”, Xavier is ready to explain, “we are always connected. We are close to Paris”. One year after the tour ended womenthey realized they had enough ideas to create Hyperdrama.

Dramatic, obviously, like good Latins

This is the case of an album whose title actually makes you expect the content inside. Expect something exaggerated and hyperbolic. “France is also a Latin country, and we share a kind of taste for exaggerated things. We started working with melodrama, and then we increased it. All aspects of the narrative on this record are exaggerated,” explains Xavier. “The ‘hyper’ in the title was chosen to give the idea of ​​something computerized.”

“This album compresses our desire to create surprising, dramatic, overly euphoric, overly sad, overly aggressive music, where things come and go in surprising ways.”

Hyperdrama begins with the appearance of the album’s most anticipated guest, Kevin Parker, the creator of Tame Impala, an Australian psychedelic band now a name at the top of the posters of the coolest festivals in the world. Parker is a longtime fan of pop music (he also worked on Dua Lipa’s latest album) and has seen Justice take shape around him Endlessthe opening song.

From the first song onwards it will be difficult to distinguish each track. And that’s the intention, really. “We wanted to make a purely fantasy record, almost as if it were a hallucinogenic dream in a continuous flow of emotions,” says Xavier.

The album also features appearances by Thundercat (in the song end), RIMON (in Afterimage) and Miguel (a Saturninus).

The protagonists are above all Gaspard Augé and Xavier de Rosnay. Hyperdrama It’s not as groundbreaking as Justice’s other works were, mostly Through, when released, but reverberates with the freshness of mint breath. In the new work, the heavy bass of R&B of the past is replaced by a psychedelia of repetitive, mesmerizing moments and other baroque details included in each track.

Time, as irrational as it is cruel and unstoppable

At 44 (Gaspard Augé) and 41 (Xavier de Rosnay), they are experiencing a new phase. “We are at a turning point,” assesses Xavier. “We’ve been a band for 20 years. We’re vintage!” There is, here, an irrationality of time: the justice It feels vintage, old, but at the same time it doesn’t let itself be too tied to the past.

“The idea is to propose a sound that always sounds new and exciting, instead of looking for the trend of the moment,” says Xavier, citing Rumble (song by producer Skrillex together with Fred…), as an example of good news.

“Proposing something new explains why we lose part of our audience with each album: because we do something that wasn’t what they expected,” reflects the musician. “And also, with every new album, a new group comes along. Our expectation is that the old audience will remain.”

It makes sense, then, that Justice debuted the album at Coachella, whose average age is in their twenties, just as they did with Throughthe debut album, when it was released at the Californian festival.

The much-lauded performance saw both artists stand on stage, each facing their other half, with surely more than a ton of lighting equipment around them. “We operate everything on stage,” Xavier reveals. “We couldn’t even communicate with each other on stage, so it was stressful.”

Playing in front of an audience younger than the band exists is not a problem, they guarantee, even if they don’t identify with the young people of this generation.

“We’ve never been very into parties and clubs. That doesn’t mean I haven’t been drinking in a nightclub, sweating with everyone, but for me playing at a party is what makes me enjoy the atmosphere. But we play less and less at parties like that,” explains Xavier.

He continues: “We are quite far from the scene around discos and clubs”, he explains, before even interrupting himself: “Which now makes sense, if we think about it, because the scene is made up of young people. That’s where new songs are invented and new successes”.

Even with fans born in the 2000s, Justice is now a band in their forties. No surprise, Hyperdrama It was designed to be listened to while traveling in the car or lying on the living room floor at home. Instead of living in Peter Pan’s dream of eternal youth, Gaspard Augé and Xavier de Rosnay choose to let time pass as quickly as they want. “I have no idea what music is trending right now,” Xavier says. “We are always attracted to what is out of fashion.”

Source: Terra

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