Justice are living up to their name.

I give credit where it’s due and Justice and the Ed Banger crew created something new in electronic music and I respect that. The massive club hits they create are a bit like crack cocaine though. They are awesome the first time you hear them then a few weeks later your not tapping your feet quite as hard. Still, I always press play when I see a new song or remix of anything that has the gold cross logo on it.

The French duo got some bad press this week when they were called out by residentadvisor.net for using unlicensed samples in their work. Remember Crystal Castles was also accused of similar action last May: click here. Honestly, both bands just should just claim Fair Use. Does anyone care if they take pieces of other music and make something new out of it? Isn’t that a good thing? I guess it all depends if they rock the house or not!

During a conversation regarding their production techniques, Justice’s Xavier de Rosnay had the audacity to tell the interviewer, “Say we use the In Da Club hand clap — not even 50 Cent would notice.” You might have thought that he would stop at this theoretical point, but then went on to explain that “if you listen to ‘Genesis,’ the first track (on †), there are samples of Slipknot, Queen and 50 Cent, but they are such short samples no one can recognise them. The ones from Slipknot, for example, are just tiny bits of the voice.” – residentadvisor.net

Now for a far more hilarious “I got ya!”. Check out the photo of Justice playing above. Um I didn’t know the MPD 24 worked without power. But again really people… it’s the show you go to see not some dork with his face planted deep into Ableton pressing little triangles. As long as the club is packed, everyone is moving and chicks are happy to chat thats all that matters. Never forget that.

via Synthtopia, Elite Force and Resident Advisor

22 Comments

  1. No one could plausibly accuse Justice of any kind of infringement — at least for sampling small fragments. I think Resident Advisor is being a bit silly. Like you say, the samples used are small enough to qualify as Fair Use.

    As for Crystal Castles… no. Substantially different situation. They used songs wholesale, without credit and refused to meet the terms of the Creative Commons license the music was originally released under. They then had the balls to deny it right up until it was bleeding obvious that the material didn’t originate with them. They have a really poor attitude to the whole thing IMO.

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  2. The MPD is USB powered also, though that isn’t plugged in either.

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  3. The question is HOW MUCH money you make with somebody elses work. Not is anybody dancing to it or etc.

    You put talent, money and effort on making something and somebody else takes it and makes lot of money with it. You consider that fair? If you use somebodys work prepaire to share what you earn with it. How more simple could it be?

    What comes to the ‘as long as the chicks are dancing all should be fine’ comment … please grow up a bit.

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  4. Hi ABC. I think you may be wrong here. Google any song you like and there you go… see: it’s free! Music is free. Selling music is not a real business. If you become a musician to make money selling music you’re a bit naive. You would be better off selling anything else. I think what matters in music IS if people are dancing, singing alone… loving your music.

    As far as Fair Use is concerned I agree with Mr eel. If you use a short sample and create a complete new form of art that’s 100% fair use: wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use

    I personally don’t know anyone who started in music to make money. Jeez… it is about the girls… if you want to grow up go be an accountant.

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  5. yes, Oliver is damn right, its all about the pussy ! we all know it for sure and btw, Justice were just perfecting their next performance at MTV unplugged ! you are all wrong ! XD

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  6. I think a lot of Justice’s samples are being used “rompler-style”, they could probably substitute them for something equivalent easily, though maybe not as good.

    My guess is they like using those because they’re lifted off tracks they feel are great and/or were successful, this gives the music an added value, in terms of sound and concept.

    They probably learned a thing or two from Daft Punk as well, considering their closeness to them. Both are acclaimed for creating something original while at the same time being accused of ripping-off other artists, classic.

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  7. Manic Audio Kinetics November 19, 2008 at 8:36 am

    Yes, “justice” has been served. Who fucking cares about the endless debate on uncleared samples. These guys are faking their performance, like so many acts in electronic music these days. I find it so disheartening. [:]-(

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  8. hhaha.. and judging by his face he didn’t even recognised that the thing is unplugged….or he’s faking damn good;)

    poser….

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  9. Regarding the mpd; they claim the usb plug came out during the performance, and you can see it right next to the port, so this is possibly just a well timed photo….

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  10. No good. Come on… Because they make shit music that isn’t timeless gives them less excuses for faking it. Lame.

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  11. OK first off, Justice is dance music for kids who don’t know any better, and grownups who don’t actually like music. Justice tracks sound pretty one-ply to meThey make music for kids to listen to until they figure out where their older sibs keep the good stuff.

    Second off — it looks like the MPD WAS plugged in — the cable is on the table right there. It’s possible it came unplugged and the photo was taken before the dude figured out there were no flashing lights on the controller. If they were miming the whole show, why leave a USB cable right next to the controller?

    Third off, if you’ve ever run a complicated electronic rig on stage, it’s entirely plausible that it would take a while to notice something unplugged if the music kept playing. You’re at the center of a hurricane of sound from the monitors and the bounce back from the house, and sometimes you can’t hear the difference when you tweak a fader, even when it’s working.

    Fourth off, considering that Justice tours with a giant stage set of fake Fender cabinets that can’t possibly connected — the sound comes from the house PA, innit? — it’s perfectly plausible that their actual performance is more about jumping up and down than playing or manipulating their tracks.

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  12. “I personally don’t know anyone who started in music to make money. Jeez… it is about the girls… if you want to grow up go be an accountant.”

    Cheers mate, that’s truth right there :D

    chaircrusher: your opinion that justice is “dance music for kids” is quite relative, a banging track is a banging track. I find their production quite complex and they do a lot of really innovative things with microsamples, compression and distortion that creates a very new, very fresh sound. The whole “music was better during my age” argument is tired and old. A lot of really good music has come out lately in genres such as dirty electro and electro-funk, so I find that to be a rather one-ply argument.

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  13. I agree with what Oliver is saying about Justice’s use of samples and their performance.

    However, I query the origins of this photo. How long has it been since Justice have used an MPD in their set? They’ve had all Korg gear for as long as I can remember, then they recently moved to Mutant Jazz Lemurs.

    This photo looks like it was from before Simian vs Justice days. My point? It surfaces now and everyone buys into the hate, forgetting they loved Justice for at least the last four years — that’s not cool.

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  14. The MPD 24 is a great choice for a controller.

    Crystal Castles when they perform live are quite different than their recordings. When Justice performs it is a redording.

    The Denim may be a bigger crime than anything else pictures here.

    Resident Advisor are really making a point, that Resident Advisor are clueless.

    Crystal Castles are the new Evanescence. Remember in the 80′s when synth bands couldn’t replicate their studio work live on stage? Crystal Castles are the new Roxette. … Aqua … Bronski Beat?

    Justice are the new Simon & Garfunkle. They really Home Perm it! I swore that was a photo of Jim Morrisson’s balls.

    I take that back … they actually could pull off a decent Hall & Oats look. But then Halll & Oats started off as a Jim Morrisson’s Balls tribute band.

    For 99.9999 % of the people on the planet that MPD 24 gets as much of a “Hunh, is that guy making the music with that box thingy?” as a Lemur for waaay less francs.

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  15. The MPD hasn’t been around that long. It probably isn’t that old a picture. Looks like they’re posing.

    Oliver please post my previous comment. You know you want to.

    If only to get more Hall & Oats references on your blog.

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  16. 1. There are plenty of us who where never fans of Justice. Justice is very slick pop music, but very much a product of very savvy marketing and very clever image management. I suppose it is better than a lot of pop music, but they don’t have a following outside of the flavor-of-the-moment crowd.

    2. If you are going to mime your act, couldn’t you use a big impressive looking faux modular with lots of patchcords and blinking lights and turning lots of knobs and buttons, instead of a lame MPD 24? I don’t mind that they are faking it so much as they couldn’t go all out and fake it with some flavour. I mean, faking a *LAPTOP SET*?!!?

    3. While Justice’s sampling does seem to be pretty much fair use and I see no problem with it, Crystal Castles was flat out “lets pretend this song is ours”… Crystal Castles are plagiarists, plain an simple. If you are trying defend Justice by comparing them with Crystal Castles, I don’t think you are making your point too effectively.

    4. It sounds like Mr. Chesler wanted to post on the story, but is trying hard not to say anything that will burn any bridges and screw up any sort of gig with anyone in the future.

    There is my flamebait for the day.

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  17. Hi O.B… I’m worried about burning bridges. I never have had any contact with the Ed Banger guys and I doubt they will ever be a part of what fills my bank. I just like to be friendly in general… every time I really hurt someone’s feelings I regretted it. By the way I have at least 10 personal stories where I completely messed up a show. One of those events is on videotape… I can only hope the guy who owns the tape stays my friend! :)

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  18. Hi Chris… sorry for the delay in your post going up. I always post them all as long as they are not spam… not sure why your got stuck in the cue.

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  19. Justice guys are lucky bastards, they are not musicians or even djs at all, just lucky and clevers wolfs. Their music is in a sense the biggest bullshit ever, their show just fucked up, the only think they know well: World is full of young (in majority) white assholes jackass, who are ready to swallow a big glass of pure shit, just because the images and the sounds we give to them (as the last trendy shit) reflect themselves : something EMPTY!
    Take the worst basic electro with the worst hard rock cliché, and you ve got the justice sound (except, abc..blabla, which is a good track, but i don’t think they made it by their own).

    That pic doesn’t scandalize me at all, I have seen that so many times, and if the crowd enjoy the party, that is at least something good.

    I’m not proud to hear that Justice and head banger represent the French electronic sound, not at all, …I’ m French …damn , it’s the last time i talk about this stupid bad, let’s listen something more interesting!

    Great blog here

    cheers

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  20. While I don’t think I have ever been a fan of justice, but as far as their case is concerned I do think it’s fair play. However, the circle of groups with the same cut up sound and the same aesthetic is really getting low. It’s one thing to have this amongst a cornucopia of other aesthetics, but to have this (and arguably the same with Crystal Castles) as the dominant aesthetic within pop is a bit much. I live in San Francisco and you just can’t get away from this shit (unless you want minimal techno :) ) And speaking of Crystal Castles, I saw them ‘live’ and their performance was just plain bad. There was nothing interesting, ingenious, authentic, or entertaining about two kids fueling this (BELATED) aesthetic of impoverishment as the mecca of young artists in the new century. How about we change things up a bit. I’m not proposing a return to the old school, but can we just get over this pretentiousness a bit?

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