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Thursday, October 11, 2007

Fake Synths, Real Cross?

posted by on October 11 at 11:15 AM

justice%20live.jpg

Is Justice’s cross the only thing up there that’s not fake? Over on Division, two controversies are brewing about Justice’s live show, (no doubt just sour grapes from people who waited to long to get tickets for Friday night’s sold out show at Neumo’s). The first is about their live set up. The thread goes like this:

“Is any of that mess on stage actually plugged in?”
“Nope. Saw them at Coachella and believe it or not what you see there is one of the most elaborate stage props in electronic music today (18 Marshall cabinets and a massive fake modular synth, complete with strobing cross and LEDs). Functional or not, you have to hand it to those guys; they’ve got their marketing down pat (Pedro Winter is a genius).”
“i gotta say, as a person who is normally skeptical of schtick/gimmicks/marketing in music, i love this. imagine the poor hair farmer dude who works at the rental company who carted all those cabs in only to find out they were just props being used by two dudes playing music off laptops. imo justice’s music isn’t much about being musicians…more like professional remixers. but they’re great at what they do, and that’s fine by me. “

So the modular synths and marshall stacks are fake, but what about that cross?

“Speaking of Justice and marketing, I do find it interesting that nobody has called Justice out on the overt Christian aesthetic (which I’ve been told is genuine) while people knock Green Velvet for embracing Christianity. If it is all just a marketing ploy then…..wow!!! Who’d ever though JC would help propel Parisian Electro Rock into the 21st century. Didn’t see that coming at all.”
“Funny I was just about to ask if the giant cross was genuine. I guess people are too busy contemplating a giant fake modular synth and how much of a letdown that is to worry about anything else.”
“The difference between Justice and Green Velvet’s affinity for Christianity, is that Calvin makes music that’s the anti-thesis of Christianity and doesn’t use the religion as a marketing ploy. He has always been vocally Chrisitian in daily life (but most black folks I know from the CHI are the same), where-as Justice seems to make the religion part of their gimmick.”
“in 2005 the first time i laid eyes on the “waters of nazareth” cover artwork i thought it was a rip off heavy metal artwork/album covers. irony, you know? later i took the name into consideration and seriously thought they were taking the piss out of metal & its religious references, never once did it cross my mind they could actually be serious.”

In my column this week, I have an admittedly flawed interview with Justice’s Gaspard Augé in which he talks too briefly about both the duo’s live set up:

“We are bringing a very big synthesizer, called Valentine,” Augé said. “We are able to rearrange the tracks live, adding layers and layers of elements. And we also play a few keyboards and use a computer.”

…and their religious iconography:

“The religious aspect is part of it, but we also just wanted something very simple and recognizable—like the Prince symbol or Metallica’s ‘Black Album’”.

RSS icon Comments

1

Dude, God is a badass.

Posted by trent moorman | October 11, 2007 12:29 PM
2

Reaching into the idle slag bucket, I have come up with two potential responses:

"Well, all those cabinets might be fake but the overinflated sense of self-importance is 100% genuine."

Or:

"The synth might be a prop but these guys are real tools."

I'm kind of leaning towards the former. And I'm really kind of leaning towards the destruction of all of these laptop-cradling twats and their inane disco rehashing. The first guy to load up an MPC 2000 with the radio hit of the day, throw it down a flight of stairs and call it a remix was a genius or at least a guy who realized how much easier that was than working for a living. The fact that this has metastasized into some sort of lionized genre is baffling to me. Perhaps I am looking for something in music than a constant reminder that I should be partying, dancing or having a good time. Perhaps I am looking for music made by people who don't seem solely preoccupied with getting ever-more-untenable haircuts and wearing women's trousers. Or perhaps I am idiot.

Posted by danmohr | October 11, 2007 12:53 PM
3

@2--comment of the day (and its only 1 pm!). you covered pretty much everything there.

that said, justice still rocks.

Posted by jz | October 11, 2007 12:59 PM
4

JZ, could I get a honorable mention for "God is a badass"?

Posted by trent moorman | October 11, 2007 1:06 PM
5

@4--yes.

Posted by jz | October 11, 2007 1:10 PM
6

I can't wait until all this laptop shit is destroyed so we can make room for real music.

Posted by Noel Gallagher | October 11, 2007 2:37 PM
7

All this talk about authenticity and props and religion and talent and the overall arc of popular dance music fails to mention that, in fact, Justice's music is shit.

Which was maybe the plan all along.

Posted by Fawkes | October 11, 2007 4:51 PM
8

so glad i left seattle...

Posted by yesir | October 11, 2007 9:22 PM
9

where's "division"?

Posted by josh | October 11, 2007 10:06 PM
10
Posted by segal | October 12, 2007 8:10 AM

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