- Photo by Paul Heartfield
Electronic musician Deadmau5 was a big draw at Voodoo's Le Plur stage in 2010, and Skrillex, the strangely coiffed leader of the current electronic dance music revolution, will likely draw similar crowds for his City Park set. But before acts like Deadmau5 and Skrillex were headlining festivals with their brand of electronic music, known for aggressive bass "drops," there was the French duo Justice.
The pair, consisting of Gaspard Auge and Xavier de Rosnay, followed the influence of fellow Frenchmen Daft Punk, who changed electronic music with catchy pop hooks ripe for sampling (as Kayne West did in his single "Stronger") and make for instant dance floor classics (like the ubiquitous "One More Time"). Justice, which came to prominence as prolific remixers of popular groups, revitalized the genre by filtering brash progressive rock through disco — one critic called it "disco punk." The rock influences also appear in Justice's stage shows, in which the duo often performs behind a giant illuminated cross.
The cross is a regular motif for the band, and that symbol serves as the title for its critically acclaimed 2007 debut. A popular single from that release is the poppy "D.A.N.C.E," which includes the earworm chorus of children singing ("do the D-A-N-C-E, 1-2-3-4-5") over sweeping disco. The rest of the album is more abrasive, as in the propulsive "Waters of Nazareth" and "Stress," which turns out to be an appropriate name for the paranoid track (the music video for the song was controversial for its depiction of African youths committing acts of vandalism while wearing jackets bearing the signature Justice cross).
Cross was nominated for a Grammy for best electronic/dance album, and "D.A.N.C.E" was nominated for best dance recording.
Justice followed up with 2008's A Cross the Universe, a live album and documentary. In 2011 the duo released Audio, Video, Disco, a more rock-oriented venture that was not as positively received as Cross. — LAUREN LABORDE