Thursday, June 21, 2007

Excellent review of Justice's debut album on Pitchfork today.

Justice takes this history of the French rave era and blows it out by embracing 21st-century stadium-rock production. They squeeze everything into a mid-range frequency band so loud that the riffs on tracks like "Let There Be Light" and "Stress" practically cock-slap you in the face... The drums on "Let There Be Light" and their big breakthrough single "Waters of Nazareth" are the rat-a-tat rhythms of electro scraping like Freddie Krueger's fingertips along the slimy walls of some basement dungeon... engorged electronic riffs, dizzying astringent strings, vocal samples torqued to all hell, and nasty metallic drums. It's astoundingly unsubtle stuff and bracing as fuck, a decade's worth of French electronic music stripped down like a Peugeot parked overnight in a bad neighborhood.

I fell head over heels for the Waters of Nazareth EP on first listen, but thought, "Nobody else is ever going to like this. It's abrasive and distorted, and all the uppity purists will call the epic arrangements 'cheesy.'" I was pretty much right on the last two, but couldn't have been more wrong on the first observation. Apparently there were more than a few people thinking this mashing of French house, rock'n'roll attitude and nasty over-driven industrial noise was the perfect antidote to the painfully dull clicks and bloops that have far overstayed their welcome on the world's dance-floors.

Three cheers for Justice. Is this brand of dark, heavy electro-disco finally going to have the cleansing effect on minimal house that electropunk did on deep house back at the turn of the millennium? (And can it avoid the pitfalls of electroclash?)
God, I hope so.

No comments: