Electro-rockers Justice takes on Potato Head Beach Club
On Thursday night, Potato Head Beach Club was treated to a DJ set by Parisian electro-rockers and indie-dance favorites Justice.
Their performance was one of the few Asian stops on their world tour, which has been ongoing since the release of their stellar, progressive-rock influenced second album Audio Video Disco in October 2011.
We asked group members Gaspard Augé and Xavier de Rosnay before the show if their countless miles of touring between gigs were wearisome.
In a calm response that belied his intense gaze, de Rosnay said “It’s such a small part of the actual work we’re doing that, if that’s the only thing we need to do, which is a bit less fun than the rest, then it’s OK, because we feel very lucky and it’s really a privilege to do what we do.”
Originally achieving fame through word-of-mouth on blogs in 2006, Justice have become highly-sought after for their production skills, having crafted a distinctive sound of highly compressed and distorted mid-tempo disco grooves. The list of artists they have remixed reads like a who’s who of major artists, including Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake and U2.
When Justice stepped onto the neon-adorned, swimming pool-bordered stage around 11:30 p.m., the hands of thousands in the crowd were raised to greet them, and pummeling electro beats ensued.
The rough sounds were a compelling contrast to the upscale architecture of the venue, and compelled the well-dressed punters to unleash their inner raver.
Mid-set highlights were Afrojack’s bassy stormer “Pacha on Acid” and the expected mass chant-along to “We Are Your Friends”, Justice’s breakthrough hit with Simian.
A key factor in Justice’s success, which is often forgotten in electronic dance music production, is a fundamental musicality.
Commenting on their composition process, de Rosnay said: “[It is only after] we write the songs with just piano or guitar, when we have the main hooks of the song, that we produce them with the beats and bass. All the songs we make are based on a melody or a chord progression, so it’s possible for you to play them all on a piano as the chords and the melody on top of it.”
Famous DJs are fortunate to have a preexisting relationship with a crowd, resulting in them having relatively more flexibility in their track selection.
This considered, Justice’s one-and-a-half-hour set could have done with more variety, as evidenced by the rejuvenating effect on the crowd brought on when two old-school favorites, the Chemical Brothers’ “Block Rockin’ Beats” and the Fatboy Slim remix of “Renegade Master”, were played.
Curiously, the speaker system seemed to have a noticeably short reach in its bass output. At the front, the bass was appropriately booming, but any further back and the lowest-frequencies seemed to disappear.