Electronic music duo Justice among top French music acts to play here

Xavier de Rosnay (left) and Gaspard Auge make up Justice, who are debuting in Singapore on Aug 15.
Xavier de Rosnay (left) and Gaspard Auge make up Justice, who are debuting in Singapore on Aug 15.PHOTO: OLIVIA BEE

French electronic duo Justice enjoy creating feel-good and aggressive tracks

French electronic music duo Justice are still baffled by the success of their 2007 hit, the feel-good, disco-pop track D.A.N.C.E., which came at the height of the electro movement, when acts such as Digitalism and MSTRKRFT reigned supreme.

"We don't know how to make hits, D.A.N.C.E was a proper accident," says Gaspard Auge, one-half of the duo, which includes 34-yearold Xavier de Rosnay.

"We came up with the song because we were a bit tired of that distorted sound on the first single, Waters Of Nazareth, and wanted to focus on another side of us.

"In the end, D.A.N.C.E. became very popular, but there was absolutely no masterplan of 'Okay, let's make a hit'."

Auge, 37, is speaking to The Straits Times in a telephone interview from his home in Paris, ahead of Justice's debut show in Singapore on Aug 15 at Zouk.

Unlike their live shows, where the duo essentially re-create a studio set-up onstage with a mixing desk, synthesisers and drum machines, they will be performing a DJ set for their debut gig here.

  • BOOK IT / JUSTICE DJ SET

  • WHERE: Zouk, 01-05 The Cannery, 3C River Valley Road

    WHEN: Aug 15, 9.30pm

    ADMISSION: $90 (early bird from Saturday, 5pm, until May 27) and $110 (standard tickets) via ticketbox.sg/figure8agency, $125 at the door

    BOOK IT / YELLE CLUB PARTY

    WHERE: Gallery Theatre, National Museum of Singapore, 93 Stamford Road

    WHEN: Friday and Saturday, 8pm (doors open at 7.30pm)

    ADMISSION: $88 via ticketbox.sg/figure8agency, $100 at the door. $139 French Electro Pass tickets for Justice and Yelle go on sale tomorrow at 9am till Saturday

    BOOK IT / JULIEN DORE - & TOUR

    WHERE: Kallang Theatre, 1 Stadium Walk

    WHEN: May 21, 8pm (doors open at 7.30pm)

    ADMISSION: $75 to $110 via Sistic (call 6348-5555 or go to www.sistic.com.sg)

But even though they just played to a crowd of 85,000 at United States mega music festival Coachella last month, Auge insists that "club gigs are more intense in a way because they are more intimate".

"A DJ set is a different pleasure from a festival, but hopefully it's going to be as exciting," he adds.

Justice are among three French acts that concert promoter and producer Figure8 Agency is bringing to Singapore over the next few months.

The others are French synth-pop duo Yelle on Friday and Saturday at the National Museum of Singapore, and pop singer Julien Dore on May 21 at Kallang Theatre.

Ms Dany Inthaxoum, 33, director of Figure8 Agency, says festivals such as Esplanade's Mosaic have exposed audiences here to music from around the world.

"To us, music shouldn't be restricted to a language or the origins of the musicians. It's a matter of feeling emotions, feeling the rhythm, the energy, the skills of musicians... and we feel that Singapore is heading progressively towards this openmindedness," she adds.

Yelle belong to the "French touch" movement from the 1990s, of which Daft Punk are the biggest export. Dore, who won the French version of American Idol, called Nouvelle Star, in 2007, is one of France's top recording artists.

Justice's debut album, Cross (2007), was all about stadium rock production for French rave-style dance music. It was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Electronic/Dance Album in 2008.

The duo are now on a world tour in support of their latest album, Woman (2016), which they say fans might find hard to reconcile with their earlier works.

Woman has the tracks Heavy Metal, "which is kind of an aggressive, twisted track", and Stop, "which is the most pop, feel-good track on the record".

Such variety is something they have enjoyed exploring since their first album.

Auge says: "We always enjoy going back and forth between those two extremes because these are two sides of music that we love and I guess it'll always be like that."

While he and de Rosnay have been carving their own path on the music circuit, he acknowledges that their predecessors Daft Punk "paved the way for French electronic music to be played outside of France".

"Right now, French music is dynamic and that's good for everyone."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 10, 2017, with the headline 'Exploring extremes in music'. Print Edition | Subscribe