Arts & Events

Justice Prepare to Release New Album

French electronic duo Justice is set to release their sophomore effort, Audio, Video, Disco, on October 25th. At least three tracks have already been released, either by leak or as singles, and after hearing just one track it becomes quite clear that this album is not going to be a repeat of 2007’s Cross.

Of the album, producer/songwriter Xavier de Rosnay called Audio, Video, Disco “daytime music,” and indicated its sound will be relatively lighter than its predecessor. “The first album wasn’t really meant to be dance-oriented; we were just trying to make some sort of pop music. I never heard any of the original tracks from the first album in a club.” Perhaps, then, the new “daytime” sound is intended to bring an ailing electro-house scene back into the limelight?

After all, it has been four years since Justice made any noise, and Daft Punk hasn’t released a proper album since 2005. In any case, the three songs released from ADV have one thing in common: these tracks are heavy.

It’s been a while, but they haven’t lost their touch, seamlessly integrating the signature funky slap-bass grooves from Cross into “Civilization,” the album’s lead single which sounds a bit like a heavy metal band attempting an electro-pop anthem; a music video directed by controversial filmographer Romain Gavras (who also directed M.I.A.’s “Born Free” video) only reinforces that notion.

However, the album’s title track “Audio, Video, Disco,” hints at perhaps a more sober and safe Justice than we saw last decade. Whether or not such safety pays off or not only time will tell, but we’re in the midst of an era where the whole musical landscape seems to been intent on producing watered-down material largely rehashed from older, more successful ideas.

Artists like Modest Mouse, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Gorillaz have all succumb to the woes of non-innovation, while those who have tried to progress have received a rather mixed reception from critics and the public alike (The Flaming Lips’ Embryonic, Radiohead’s The King of Limbs).

In that sense Audio, Video, Disco is an album coming at a rather precarious time, because in order to succeed it must balance the old Justice sound with something definitively new and reestablish electro-house as a viable electronic genre, that is not dubstep!