'A Bit of a Tour de Force': What You Need to Know About Justice's 'Woman'

'A Bit of a Tour de Force': What You Need to Know About Justice's 'Woman'
Photo: So Me
As Justice, the French duo of Gaspard Augé and Xavier de Rosnay have been producing together for ten years, creating a signature blend of rock-influenced dance music. For their third album, Woman (out now on Ed Banger), they're reimagining their affinity for disco. The duo, whom de Rosnay claims are "not shy of anything any longer," share the secrets of their success.
The French duo relies on a very close, and very collaborative creative process.
"We started in January 2015, and finished it in July 2016," de Rosnay tells Exclaim! "We spent one year-and-a-half working on it. From the moment we started the record, we were always together in the studio. There's never anything we do with a distance.
"We start most songs just playing together, with a piano, a bass, or just instruments in a very traditional way. Then when we have something that works on a very simple bass, it often means that it's going to be good once produced, and this is when we start to produce things and record them.
"It's exactly the same process as brainstorming, like you exchange ideas and sometimes you know they're wrong, but you know the other one can use that to bounce back and propose something else."
Every song serves a purpose, so the album is meant to be heard from start to finish.
"Halfway through the record, we start having the backbone of what the album is going to be, and then we start making every song for a purpose. It's when we start to make the opening track, and then the closing track, and then we listen to what we have and it's like, 'Okay what do we have, what do we need?'
"We do our best work when the songs work individually but you can also extract them and they work on their own too. We try to think about them on both levels — like as part of the album, and also individually, for them to make sense."
They're particularly proud of the closing tracks, "Love S.O.S" and "Close Call."
"They are a bit of a tour de force, if you know what I mean. They're special achievements — there's something we managed to do that we think is cool, but that doesn't mean that people will notice it, or even pay attention to it. On the most emotional level, there are some songs that we maybe love more than others.
"The way these songs developed, the way they intertwine, the way they respond to each other, and also the general sensation of things flowing naturally and easily, that's the way we feel it. And anybody who was in the studio with us will say the same."
They don't care about your expectations.
"We can't take that in consideration because we have no idea what people want, you know what I mean? Everybody perceives what we do in very different ways, and sometimes in such contradictory ways that we wouldn't be able to make any sense of that.
"The truth is that we make albums, and every time we make an album, it's a picture of what we can do the best at the moment we are making it, and then once it's out, it doesn't belong to us any longer. Whatever were our intentions, everybody's gonna own this record and understand different things depending on their culture [and] sensitivity."
Check out "Alakazam!" below.