Dive into this futuristic escapade of an album
Gaspard Augé, one-half of France’s electronic dance duo, Justice, has just released a new 12-track LP, Escapades, that will take people out of this world or, rather, into the world of one’s inner musings. As per an interview with Spin Magazine, Augé says he hopes the music makes the listener “travel a bit in [their] own head.” It’s one of those albums that brings people into a deeper train of thought, even if it’s just about the complex technicalities of the music. The songs, in turn, bring the listener into alternating moods of ecstatic excitement and mellow or melancholic melody and sound.
Gaspard Augé is a French electronic music producer. According to his All Music biography, Augé originally made lo-fi synth-pop before joining with Xavier de Rosnay to form first the band Darling and then Justice later on. Augé calls Escapades, his newest album, his first solo one, “joyful” (via Spin). The album has that air and has the side effect of sometimes making people feel like they are flying.
It starts with “Welcome,” a song shorter than those later in the album, and a mesmerizing electronic introduction to the whole work. The next songs take the listener through a dazzling sequence of intellectual and emotional experiences, or “escapades.” The second song starts off the album with a “force majeure,” indeed a very powerful force of a song. (The second song is titled “Force Majeure.”) The ‘80s-style synths make it feel like the listener is a guest at a very exciting cinematic event, and then when the bass and rhythm come in, it just becomes a pure jam. Loveable.
There are some darker songs in the album too, which contrast the very lively parts of the album. “Lacrimosa” is still fairly upbeat but has some minor tones that give the song a sadder feel. On the contrary, “Hey!” sounds like the apotheosis of a musical adventure: it’s lively and fast-moving, excited and vibrant. Complex rhythmically and ethereal, it’s a song that easily lifts one’s spirits.
Somewhere in between these two moods lies “Casablanca.” Sort of mellow, but also putting one in a deep train of thought at first, it starts off with a simple synth bass ostinato that soon leads into some soft yet satisfying vocals. It suddenly breaks into a wonderfully harmonious and celebratory section that truly celebrates the wonderful work that this album is. Overall, the piece is thought-provoking, but not in an overwhelming way—it stays mellow the entire way through. Also a great piece for flute or spacey sound effect fans, just saying. The intro of “Vox” is really cool—it’s the layering of vocals that evolves into a tremolo effect, which sounds really awesome. There’s a pause before the rest of the song starts, and the rest of “Vox” is basically built on the motif.
On the whole, this new work of Gaspard Augé is a phenomenal one to check out. If someone is hesitant, then at least listen to the first track of Escapades (preferably with headphones on), and people might find it pulls them into its majestic world before the end of its 38 seconds.