Album Review: Justice – Access All Arenas




It’s an EDM world — we just live in it.

It might have been perfectly acceptable to relegate dance and electronic music to the niche fringes of rave culture in the ’90s, but that ideology has long gone the way of the dinosaur, alongside L.A. Gear and the Vengaboys. Today’s text-friendly, download-crazy world has pushed electronica to the forefront of popular music, and Justice has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of the genre’s rising profile. The French duo of Gaspard Augé and Xavier de Rosnay are one of several acts that have moved EDM out of the dank confines of nightclubs and into stadiums and festivals, and Access All Arenas, Justice’s new live album, celebrates just how far the rejuvenated dance genre has come in recent years.

Recorded live in France’s Arena of Nimes last July, the record finds Augé and de Rosnay interweaving house, classic rock, and disco into their own spirited mix. Like their mentors in Daft Punk before them (the band is signed to the Ed Banger imprint), Justice exhibits a deft skill for retooling old styles and genres into something befitting of 2013. Things kick off with a slow but energizing build up to “Genesis”, which, while a safe and predictable opener, still gets things off to a rousing start.

From there, Access All Arenas threads seamlessly from one track into the next, touching upon everything from Zeppelin-like riffage (“Canon”) and cock rock bombast (“Newlands”) to slick odes to ’70s funk and disco (“D.A.N.C.E.”), all underpinned by an omnipresent house beat.

The sounds might feel like something from the not-so-distant-future, but the palpable energy captured within Access All Arena‘s reverberating walls is evidence of a band very much living in the now.

Essential Tracks: “Genesis”, “Canon”, “Newlands”