Friday, May 11, 2007

Just easy as ABC...

It’s been near impossible to escape the Ed Banger label for the last year, either at indie discos or on house dancefloors. From the potty outpourings of ‘butter wouldn’t melt’ Uffie, to electro heavyweights Sebastian and Mr Oizo, the label’s consistent sound and style could teach Coke a thing or two about brand. The ultimate expression of their twisted machine groove, of course, comes from the distorted synths and filtered basslines of Gaspard Auge and Xavier de Rosnay, aka Justice (try saying it with a French accent, its fun).

That Simian remix aside, Justice became inescapable when they put out last year’s pummelling “Waters Of Nazareth” in which the harder extremes of Daft Punk were reimagined through the mangled mind of Iggy Pop circa “Fun House”. With all the steely impulses of techno, yet as funky as anything on “Discovery”, this was a party soundtrack made somewhere between heaven and hell. Perfect.

Now the full-length is finally upon us and if you were expecting it to exhaust you, well yes, “†” is a fairly unrelenting 45 minutes of a sound whose chief flaw is its own distinctiveness. But only “Phantom” turns the distortion up to such ear wax-curdling levels as “Waters Of Nazareth”, current single “D.A.N.C.E.” taunts cynicism with irresistible disco drops and we bet Daft Punk wish they could still pull off a trick like “New Jack” with its complete reconfiguration of the tired filtered house formula into stupidly good new shapes. At times it sounds like one of those synth albums that EMI released to showcase Dolby technology; “Stress” is like a library music soundtrack to Catherine Deneuve’s nightmares in that Roman Polanski film, Repulsion.

Shall we start a petition to see them supporting Prince at the O2 Arena in August? You know it makes sense.


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