Gaspard Augé of French electro-house duo Justice announced that his debut solo album Escapades is set to be released on June 25 via Genesis/Ed Banger Records/Because Music. He has shared two singles from it so far, first “Force majeure” and now, “Hey!”
The new single can primarily be described as ‘epic.’ After a cinematic intro, vocals come in with a quick “Hey!” and then the song sets off racing. Disco-inspired synth strings take over the recording alongside choral vocals. There are two breaks from the strings and vocals, the second of which is a surprise psychedelic breakdown, before the strings return for their grand finale.
The video for “Hey!” is only one minute long and cuts off way early accordingly, but it gets the imagery across that Augé wanted it to. It shows a horse and rider galloping through Turkish mountains until the rider picks up a violin off of the ground mid-run and begins playing it. Augé explains, “This is the first thing that came to my mind while recording the track, a Mongolian horse rider playing the violin in the steppe, an epic ride with a far east feel. Filip Nilsson and the amazing rider Metin Yılmaz made that dream come true.”
“Force majeure” is similarly disco-inspired and retains Justice’s signature massive sound. It’s an instrumental track that keeps a steady groove throughout most of it, but ramps up for an energetic climax. Synth bass and back-to-back chord hits drive the track the whole way through.
On Augé’s first foray as a solo artist, he wanted to just enter the studio and create freely “without overthinking it.” While Justice is notorious for stewing on their music and spending a lot of time editing it in post-production, Augé recorded Escapades in two months at Paris’ Enterprise and Motorbass Studios. At the former, he was happy to be able to use a synthesizer that had previously been owned by progressive rock band Yes, and at the latter to be at a studio that had previously belonged to his friend Philippe Zdar of the similar French house duo Cassius.
The press release illustrates the album as “a panoply of massive dreamscapes and sentimental sugar rushes that conjure images of pagan rituals in orbit or spaghetti westerns on a space station, creating a sonic utopia that crisscrosses from prog revival, to dancefloor thumpers, to psychedelic folk, to Italian horror film soundtracks, and every conceivable point in between.”
It was written in collaboration with French composer Victor le Masne, who has worked with artists including Chilly Gonzales and Metronomy’s Joseph Mount. The final product displays the childlike joy of pure creation. Augé threw aside all preconceptions of “good taste or bad taste” and aimed to “capture the innocence of enjoying music in your youth, where you’re guided first and foremost by feeling.” He explains, “I’ve always been obsessed with making larger than life music. Mostly because it’s more fun.”
2. Force Majeure