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Justice: Live

Braxe + Falcon

Sun, July 28, 2024
Doors: 6:30 pm
Show: 8:00 pm

The Anthem
Washington, DC

Justice

Back in 2007 Justice’s crunching deconstruction of techno, pop, R&B, electro, funk, metal and pretty much anything else that took their fancy established the pair as one of France’s most vital musical exports. They are celebrated with 1 nomination for a Grammy Award, 1 Victoire de la musique – french award – and 3 MTV Awards.

Their second album, 2011’s Audio, Video, Disco, pushed the sonic boat out even further. A bombastic aural wallop whose classic ’70s rock flourishes owed as much to Queen and Yes as it did Frankie Knuckles or Prince, it saw them embark on rapturously-received world tour that took in headline slots at Coachella and Lollapalooza.

Released in 2016, their third album “Woman” took us on board and catapults us from the elastic R&B pop of ‘Pleasure’ to the rush of ‘Alakazam!’ without any transition whatsoever, all with a more ‘live’ approach to the record, heralding the next path taken by the duo.

‘WOMAN WORLDWIDE’

After three studio albums: Cross (2007), Audio, Video, Disco (2011) and Woman (2016), Justice presents in 2018 Woman Worldwide, a new and original album in which their previous productions are mixed together, stretched and reinterpreted. Woman Worldwide is a studio album shaped by and for live performance. For Justice, the stage is the ultimate purpose of their music. It transforms into an event, a unique experience, what was frozen in LPs, giving the sound its full scope. For this album, the duo won the 2019 Grammy Award for Best Electro Album of the Year, and Woman Worldwide ranked 2nd on Billboard’s Top 40 Dance Albums of the Decade.

And while they proved it with an extraordinary international tour and a spectacular live show at the Accor Hotel Arena in Paris, the duo didn’t stop there.

IRIS: A SPACE OPERA BY JUSTICE

In the manner of Pink Floyd’s historic live show in Pompeii, the band used this raw material, the energy of a live show, to convey the experience of their lives through film. IRIS: A Space Opera by Justice was born. A film-event with a worldwide release but a single screening in nearly 300 cinemas across 50 countries. This singular work revisits Justice’s musical productions through a meticulous set design, where lighting effects, machinery and camera movements combine perfectly to create a fascinating and original object.

HYPERDRAMA

Justice have announced their brand new album ‘Hyperdrama’ will be released on 26th April 2024 via Ed Banger Records / Because Music. The album will be available digitally to stream/download as well as physically via CD, double black vinyl, limited edition double crystal clear vinyl and limited edition double picture disc vinyl. Two singles have already been released, taken from the forthcoming album: ‘One Night/All Night starring Tame Impala’ and ‘Generator’.

Of the single ‘One Night/All Night starring Tame Impala’, the band say: “We wanted this track to sound as if a dark/techno iteration of Justice had found a sample of a disco iteration of Kevin Parker. Kevin has a sense of melody that’s fascinating in the sense that he manages to write melodies that feel both simple and natural, but very peculiar at the same time. This song oscillates between pure electronic music and pure disco but you never really get the two at the same time. This very idea of switching instantly from a genre to another within a song runs through the whole record, and is maybe showcased the clearest in ‘One Night/All Night’.

And of ‘Generator’, the band add: “To us, this one sounds like “Getaway” by the Salsoul Orchestra, but with gabber and classic 90s hardcore techno sounds. Disco/funk and  electronic music at large have always been core elements of the music we make as Justice. In ‘Hyperdrama’, we make them coexist, but not in a peaceful way. We like this idea of makingthem fight a bit for attention.” The official video for ‘One Night/All Night starring Tame Impala’ is available to watch now. The arresting visual, produced by Phantasm and directed by Anton Tammi also reveals the artwork for the highly anticipated Hyperdrama album. “I suggested to them that what if we dive in? What if their music video was a journey inside the cross?” states Tammi. “I dreamed of creating a piece like this. A strange and experimental object that looks like rave lighting inside human lungs and strobe light around a human heart.”

‘Hyperdrama’, the new album by Justice will be released 26th April via Ed Banger Records / Because Music.

New singles ‘One Night/All Night starring Tame Impala’ and ‘Generator’ are out now.

‘One Night/All Night starring Tame Impala’ music video https://youtu.be/ZX83_kg_n5c?si=ea5sUuhJrPxWe76E

‘Generator’ music video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZTg2WMb8Ps

Braxe + Falcon

Alain and Stéphane Quême, or Alan Braxe and DJ Falcon, are indisputable architects of the French Touch — the emotive house music conjured from looped samples with an inimitable Gallic flare that emerged from Paris in the mid 90s. A source of infinite inspiration, time and time again subsequent generations of dance music producers have cycled back and discovered the joys to be found in the stomping repetition of endlessly tweaked and filtered disco and soul sound grabs. The French Touch is the sound of the French imitating their American teachers and here and now it comes back around, just like the loops the records are built on.

In 2022 these two originals will present their first ever collaboration as Braxe & Falcon in the form of the Step By Step EP, released on Smugglers Way. The release represents a sublime distillation of their shared musical essence, a revelatory realization and a compelling expansion only conceivable for them at this point in time.

Despite being cousins, neither was initially aware of the other’s musical pursuits. It was Thomas Bangalter who intervened and told Falcon of his plans to release Braxe’s debut Vertigo on his famed Roulé imprint in 1997. Shortly after Bangalter released Falcon’s first EP Hello My Name Is DJ Falcon in 1998. Both had pivotal, separate collaborations with Bangalter — Falcon with Bangalter as Together (“Together,” 2000 & “So Much Love To Give,” 2002), Braxe with Bangalter as Stardust (“Music Sounds Better With You,” 1998). “It was a time of youthful nonchalance in which we barely knew what we were doing,” the duo recall. “It was a world of discovery, just making music without any preconceived notions or rules. Our state of mind at the time was very DIY, similar to punk, but with different types of instruments.” Braxe went on to release a dazzling catalogue of upper cuts — solo outings, collaborations, productions and remixes for others. Falcon meanwhile pursued DJing, on a seemingly never-ending DJ tour of the most renowned surfing destinations in the world, taking photos in his down time, and sidelining production to a more private pursuit. Choosing not to release any new music outside of a few remixes and collaborations since 2002, Falcon’s most visible credit in the last 10 years was as co-producer/writer on Contact, the explosive closing track of Daft Punk’s 2013 megalith Random Access Memories.

The two of them came together with the intention to work on something new, with no ideas, plans or outcomes in mind. In the studio it became evident that neither was in the headspace to make strictly club music, and both were looking towards something that went beyond the dance floor. In the process of realizing what they didn’t want to do, it became clear what compelled them to make music in the first place. Both Braxe & Falcon insist they’re not musicians — with no formal training they started out making music with samplers, which inevitably gave way to an obsession with the magical, microscopic moments in

the songs of others that could be flipped and transformed into something new and intoxicating. Their passion for the process remained and they set out to recapture the naivety, the imperfections and the joy of their first adventures in music, filtered through their decades of experience not only making and playing music for dancefloors, but living life outside of it. “Using modular synthesizers in the production of our new music and the happy accidents they generate have helped us reconnect with the punk spirit of the early days, freeing ourselves from convention,” they say. “Our love for the oscillation between melancholy and hope that emerges from our use of repeated musical phrases and loops is as inspiring to us today as it was twenty years ago.”

The EP is built around 3 axes: acoustic drums, modular synthesizer, and looped samples — third party samples or resampling of the two’s own music. It opens with “Step By Step,” an ecstatic vocal drone with a pleading chord progression of syrupy synthesizer, as if Braxe’s “In Love With You” had been baking on the dashboard for a quarter of a century. The production alone is hypnotic, with the addition of a vocal from noted French touch fan Panda Bear the track transcends anything in the catalogues of all three artists to something completely majestic, resplendent in its glowing, lush simplicity. “The instrumental could be seen as a downtempo variation of the Roulé era club tracks,” say the duo. “Panda Bear wrote and performed amazing vocals and it transformed the instrumental into a beautiful song, which in its final form could be defined as a power ballad with French house DNA.” The skeleton of “Creative Source” came off an old sampler of Falcon’s, and the familiar euphoric rush of a perfectly uplifting sample chopped, filtered and repeated comes on strong. A short, ambiguous vocal refrain (from the Creative Source song “I’d Find You Anywhere,” written by Pam Sawyer and Flying Lotus’ grandmother Marilyn McLeod) that deftly dances around a looped horn blast, dance music needs little more when it’s this potent. “We love to repeat and hammer simple messages just like ‘Together’ or ‘In Love With You’ in our respective past releases,”say Braxe & Falcon. “Hammering the message could be seen as people demonstrating and shouting a simple message crucial to their existences.” “Elevation” is another vocal feature, this time Braxe & Falcon’s live drum groove and pulsing synth parts complimented by Sunni Colon’s languid, urgent delivery. “Love Me” is arguably the most club ready of the set, the basic, propulsive rhythm, ascending bassline and a sample of Arnold McCuller’s “Gringo” are impressively effective at driving the two word vocal sample to cathartic delirium.

That Braxe & Falcon should live separately abundant careers spanning decades only to keep coming back to the spirit of their origins feels appropriate given the form much of their music has taken — reverential but

perpetually evolving. By the same token it’s not hard to imagine the tracks that come out of their combined endeavor looping into the sunset, indefinitely.

Venue Information:
The Anthem
901 Wharf St SW
Washington, DC, 20024
WWW.THEANTHEMDC.COM

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