JUSTICE has never stuck to clearly defined roles. The fashionably thin, intensely Gallic duo of Gaspard AugÃ© and Xavier de Rosnay manage to both embody and defy stereotypes. From hipster parties in dingy Paris nightclubs, to manic mainstage gigs at Sonar by Night, to international tours with audiences writhing in near-tearful devotion – they’ve done it all.Â And JUICE was in Ibiza to catch them when they played back-toback alongside fellow Frenchmen Cassius at Club 75, Pacha. Don’t hate us now….
Text Cila Warncke
Images Sebastian Desbats
JUSTICEÂ are intense in a well-educated, laconic, smoky Parisian sort of way. “We smoked 30,000 cigarettes making this record,” they said of debut album. Yet their music pops with rainbow colours and kiddie-friendly choruses.
Without ever courting the music pressÂ JUSTICE snared the world’s attention by upstaging Kanye West at the MTV Music Awards. The hip hopper’s onstage temper-tantrum ensured their notoriety to an audience that might never have noticed them otherwise. This, too, seemed to slide off their skinny, black-leather-bound shoulders. JUSTICE marched on.
From hipster parties in dingy Paris nightclubs, to manic mainstage gigs at Sonar by Night, to international tours with audiences writhing in near-tearful devotion – they’ve done it all. Tonight they are joined at Pacha by Cassius, completing the French twist on the evening.
On the corner, just past the main entrance a group of youngsters is swigging bottled drinks. This is typical behaviour outside other clubs, but at Pacha you almost expect one of the doormen to lumber down and have a word. No one does though. There is plenty of merriment in the warm air, and the kind of good natured jostling that happens in high-spirited queues. Judging by the snippets of conversation running JUSTICE fan base travels well: Italian, Spanish, French and a fair portion of English voices ring out. Everyone is fidgeting to the hint of the kick drum oozing through the dense walls.
By the time we scramble inside there is a mini rush for the dancefloor. Any latent concerns about how JUSTICE’s cheeky style and flamboyant showmanship will fit in the calm lines of Pacha vanishes in a moment. The booth – always a hive of activity – is a veritable swarm, with enough arms flailing through the dry ice to look as if it’s been taken over by an impatient octopus.
JUSTICE and Cassius are playing back to back, moving so fast it seems as if there surely must be more thanÂ 4 of them. On the dancefloor an enthusiastic moil keeps pace with the hyperactive display in the DJ box, swishing and pitching from side to side with giddy abandon. Girls in boutique dresses have bade farewell to propriety and are dancing manically. One, actually around her handbag – ironically, we hope.
JUSTICE’s knowing melange of electro, pop (including Janet Jackson!) and the odd stonking guitar riff is perfectly gender balanced: the boys are stomping away with equal concentration. Somehow, they engage the crowd without seeming to pay it much attention. Xavier, small and perky as a meerkat, bobs up from behind the decks to cheer the floor; Gaspard’s most demonstrative moment is a smile and half-wave when someone thrusts a mobile phone up at him, yet they are in perfect harmony with the crowd.
The gurgling pop of ‘DANCE’ whips up a storm, and a tough, techno-tinged track gets just as much of a hearty response. Tonight, JUSTICE – with a little help from their friends, Cassius – demonstrates perfectly why the are who they are: every expectation broken, every rule bent and everyone dancing towards dawn with a smile on their face.