Jus†ice: A short study

Jus†ice are a french electric duo who climbed the pop music charts in the mid-200s with their infectious original track ‘D.A.N.C.E.’. The band have a dark take on modern electronic music, showing some rock and metal influence in heavy, slapped bass, acoustic sounding drums and heavily overdriven rock guitars in a few songs. The opening song on the duo’s most commercially popular and debut album ‘’ begins with a military style horn section that would not sound out of place on an operatic or blackened metal style song (see: Fleshed Apocolypse’s A Million Deaths). Augé himself describes the live show as having an ‘epic, operatic feel to it’ (Augé, 2013). The album ‘†’ has grit which ties it to rock music, as well as being heavily bass, kick and groove driven like more modern dance music.

The attached ‘Blueprint’ video shows a short interview with the duo’s live sound engineer, Malik Malki, another trait dissimilar to traditional electronic music. He recalls mixing the band on tour for their first album, using an analogue mixer for live shows, which was just a ‘left-right situation’ (Malki, 2013). The band swapped to digital and Malik was able to run the mix on 16 channels, which more option for live mixing depending on the audience’s reaction. The duo also travel with a lighting engineer, further adding to the aesthetic of watching a band rather than a D.J. However, Jus†ice’s live set-up tells a different story. Despite the rocky feel of Jus†ice’s music, the duo run samples via Ableton and control their sound with an array of pad and MIDI controllers (AKAI MPD24 and JazzMutant Lemur Input Devices to name a few). Despite swapping to digital for their live shows, the bands retains an ‘analogue’ grit and warmth to the sound, particular with rockier style synths and overdrive.
The two members of Jus†ice, Gaspard Augé and Xavier de Rosnay (both born late 70s early 80s) complete the duo’s stage set-up in jeans, sneakers and matching bomber jackets which complete the rock ’n’ roll aesthetic typical of Justice. Their main podium that contains synths and controllers is flanked by 3 full Marshall stacks (unloaded), which become a part of the light show.  The podium’s centrepiece is the signature Justice cross, and is decorated with outboard analogue processors and synths (it’s unclear whether these are real or for show, however the podium can open and split in half so it’s assumed nothing is connected). Many of the dirtier synths in Justice’s sonically resemble overdriven (particularly ‘tube-y’ and fuzzy) guitars. This can be heard clearly on the track ‘Waters of Nazareth’.
While Justice are clearly an electronic band, their ties to the rock realm and obvious influence from metal (in one way or another) make them my favourite electronic band. While the Marshall stacks and analogue outboard gear on stage are attractive, it is the grit and liveliness of their sound that attracts me to them.

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