French electro/house duo Justice has given us just one CD and a dozen or so remixes, but that hasn’t stopped them from becoming one of the biggest acts of the year. Their recently released CD/DVD A Cross the Universe is an audio recording of their March 2008 Show in San Francisco coupled with a self-made video of their North American tour.
The audio CD has one of the most intense sets I’ve heard from Justice. Every song seems to hit harder than the last. Listen to them play the MSTRKRFT remix of D.A.N.C.E. and then add even more drums over it. The original version of “We Are Your Friends” isn’t quite enough, so they play it over a Metallica sample for good measure. Justice shines by doing things like that to keep their music exciting– adding one more synth or drumbeat and completely changing the feel of the song. This CD is the best recording I’ve heard that conveys the energy of a Justice concert. And you won’t hurt your ears or go blind from the light show.
The accompanying DVD isn’t the standard concert DVD that I was hoping for, but rather a look at the backstage lives of Gaspard Augé and Xavier de Rosnay. A handful of clips from live shows really don’t give us a good idea of a Justice concert. Could any DVD, really? Even though the sound is bad and the camera a little shaky, looking at the passion of the crowd reminds the viewer that Justice has already achieved cult-status and are not far from the top. It’s certainly entertaining to see what the two members of Justice are like when they’re not performing. Daft Punk won’t even let us see their faces, these guys let us see it all– alcohol, chain smoking, fast food, a Las Vegas wedding, two arrests, and a lot of late night partying. Justice is out to prove that you don’t need to play an instrument to live like a rock star.