It was instant bromance when Xavier de Rosnay and Gaspard Augé met at a house party in early-2000s Paris: two young French graphic designers who loved good old American rock ’n’ roll. What they lacked in technical expertise, they made up for in taste—and not exactly the “good taste” of the French artists du jour. “When we started, French house music was really about precision, and we arrived and had no idea what we were doing,” de Rosnay tells Apple Music’s Zane Lowe. To the world of groovy French filter house, the duo known as Justice brought AC/DC energy, punishing distortion, and a giant neon cross that towered over Marshall speaker stacks at their famously wild live shows. Three studio albums, three live albums, and two Grammys later, the Justice boys have traded their skintight leather jackets for sharply tailored suits, but though the songs on their fourth album, Hyperdrama, are generally less punishing than early eardrum-destroyers like “Waters of Nazareth” or “Stress,” the duo have yet to lose their edge. Eight years after their last studio release, 2016’s unprecedentedly tender Woman, Augé and de Rosnay return to the tensions that animated their 2007 debut. “[Contrast] has been the motor of what we do since the beginning, because there is some kind of radicality and violence that we love in electronic music, and we are also blue-eyed soul and yacht rock fans.” On Hyperdrama, saccharine disco and blistering electronics don’t just coexist—they duke it out, often within the same track, as on “One Night/All Night,” whose stomping beat tugs against plaintive vocals from Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker. “Generator” nods to the brutalism of their early hits, the sax-forward “Moonlight Rendez-vous” evokes the camp of George Michael’s “Careless Whisper,” and “Dear Alan” (named for French electronic legend Alan Braxe) is the kind of blissful filter house they once stood out from like two leather-clad sore thumbs. The duo’s songwriting has aged like fine French wine, but as always, they lead with their gut. “Really often we find that decisions in production and engineering are on the side of style and sensation more than, ‘Does it sound perfect by the standards of hi-fi?’” Augé explains. “If the good thing is that thing that was ripped 10 times and is so downgraded that it has this sort of bitcrush and glow to it, then we should go for that.”

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