Welcome to Blog on the Dancefloor, Red Bull’s new weekly nightlife bulletin. The biggest news in clubland this week is that Justice are coming back – and they’re armed with a new album, Civilization.
There’s also a brand-new clip featuring the first single of the same name from the album scheduled for release on April 4 following the launch of Adidas’s new global campaign directed by Romain Gavras – see a sneak preview below of the advert.
A longer, different edit is also accessible at the Adidas YouTube page. Gavras is a long-time Justice collaborator, who was behind the controversial music video to their track Stress and, most recently, MIA’s Born Free video.
And so, electro fans breathed a collective sigh of relief across the Twitterverse. It’s been four years since the Gallic leather jacket-wrapped duo released their unpronounceable debut album † on Ed Banger Records and there has been a significant cross-shaped hole in the electrosphere ever since. In the interim, clubbers have moved on to dubstep or disco-influenced beats. Almost as if to mark the shift, dubstep producer Skream’s remix of electro old guard Cassius’s new single, I Love You So, was more successful than the original version when it came out earlier this year, and you can hear familiar disco synth stabs on Civilization. These have become the fashion sounds of choice and dominate parties across the world instead of electro and electro-rock.
Moreover, just a day after news of Justice’s return, French electro label Institubes, who helped pioneer Paris’s jackin’ electro sound like Ed Banger, announced that they were closing. They had helped launch the careers of Surkin, Chateau Marmont, Nipon, Para One and Bart B More, and have just celebrated their seventh birthday. But head honchos Jean-René Etienne and Emile Shahidi signed off on their website with the assertion that: “Consumer practices are fucked. You don’t need me to tell you that music is devalued… Tracks are peaking faster than Tumblr memes.”
Which is perhaps why Justice have employed such a low-key press campaign for their comeback release. According to the UK’s Guardian, “they seem to have taken cues from Daft Punk's minimalist PR strategy: thus far, Justice's announcement of new music consist[ed] of one word, and one image, on Facebook.” It wasn’t even they themselves who leaked the track, but French design team Surface to Air (with whom they collaborated on their crazy-expensive clothing range), who announced that they would be designing the new single cover on their website.
They’ve no doubt felt the burn of the ‘difficult second album’ syndrome – infamously, their mix for the London’s Fabric nightclub’s revered FabricLive series was rejected in 2008 and ended up as ‘Justice’s Xmas Mix’ on the blogs.
Yet, at the Guardian’s suggestion again, 2011 could well be Justice’s year, “since Daft Punk’s Tron: Legacy Soundtrack landed like a damp squid” (that’s if their album is good enough to drag electro out of this fishy water). And, especially, it’s because it doesn’t look like Daft Punk are going to haul their pyramid around the festival circuit any time soon.
So for those who have forgotten (like us, almost) about Justice’s chest-collapsing rock ’n’ rave ways, here are the songs that brought them to worldwide superstardom, established the Ed Banger brand and, best of all and like fully-fledged rockers, got them into trouble. We can’t wait for that sophomore album later this year…
Track of the week
Thom Yorke x Burial x Four Tet
Yeah, all right, we like Four Tet quite a lot here at Red Bull. It’s not our fault that he consistently puts out great tracks, is it? And this, a collaboration between some of the greatest minds and mouthpieces in electronic music, is a dubstep circle jerk we simply can’t ignore. It’s coming out this week on Four Tet’s new Text label – look out for the plain black sleeve to find your copy.
- Justice Civilization Facebook page
- Read previous Blog on the Dancefloor entries
- Follow Kate on Twitter: @katehutchinson