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Song Of The Month March 2011: “Phantom Part II” by Justice

March 23, 2011

After confirming they’re currently working on their next album plus the impending release of their new single “Civilization”, French electro artists Justice are back to the forefront of the dance music world and indeed the popular music world via Adidas’ role in promoting the new single as it is the soundtrack to the latest Adidas advertising campaign.

Now providing sounds to accompany the manoeuvres and gyrations of the likes of such mass-media icons as David Beckham, Katy Perry and Lionel Messi, it presents a sharp contrast to the “underworld” that excites and inspires the French duo so much as to produce the sounds they do. Part of the mightily impressive electronic music label stable that is Ed Banger Records, Justice’s sounds have infiltrated many a public domain ranging from computer game advertisements to American “talent “ shows to Italian football coverage. The song selected for this blog’s purpose, “Phantom Part II” was involved in the latter of these domains, providing the musical introduction for Five’s short-lived coverage of Serie A. From a personal perspective, the combination of Laura Esposto, Justice and Italian football are as close to heaven as is possible in a human existence (apologies to Mark Chapman who just has no such place in such fantasies).

Released in June 2007 on Justice’s debut album, †, “Phantom Part II” serves as the business end of the mini-saga if you will that is Phantom. Like a lot of music of its type, a motif is played around with to various degrees and from that “Phantom Part I” and “Phantom Part II” were born. “Phantom Part I” is has more of a slow feel, as if the motif is in the process of building of a particular musical structure. This desired musical landscape is then actualised in the more cohesive sounds emanating from “Phantom Part II”. The motif itself happens to consist of a sample taken from the title track of the motion picture soundtrack of Dario Argento’s Tenebre.

Anyone who forms an opinion on Justice should not do so solely on the basis of their first studio album. Seriously, don’t do it. Instead go for the live album “A Cross The Universe”. Not only does it have a highly interesting DVD feature (a feature directed by a certain Romain Gavras who happens to have directed Adidas’ brand new television advert), the performance encapsulated epitomises what Justice are all about. The first album serves to provide the template and the structure in which the glorious madness they create live bases itself upon. It is here when Justice are at their most expressive and indeed at their best.

“Phantom Part II” has of course had its fair share of remixes (to be honest in the dance music world, every song in existence has been remixed at least twice). The best are those of German dance fiend Boys Noize and Belgian musical powerhouse Soulwax and these as well as “Phantom Part I” were all packaged together and released as a single not long after †’s release. As an individual track, Soulwax’s take on the original is perhaps the definitive version as the arrangement is now often used by Justice themselves when performing live. It marries the tones of Justice with the rhythms of Soulwax with Soulwax as ever staying true to the roots of the song they’ve remixed. Indeed, the mere mentions of Justice and Soulwax in the same sentence are enough to cause little angelic voices to be heard in the distance. Or is that just me?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. burrito m0nkey permalink
    September 20, 2011 16:39

    Not just you. What im looking forward to is a Justice/Deadmau5 or Justice/Daft Punk
    kinda thing. Lets stay hopefull.


  2. burrito m0nkey permalink
    September 20, 2011 16:41

    A Cross The Universe was pretty epic.
    I think we can all agree with that.

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