Some peeps on the blogosphere have been a little confused with the hot-off-the-record-presses leak of the full version of “Audio, Video, Disco,” the second single off Justice’s upcoming LP.
Comments include (via Hypebeast, http://hypebeast.com/2011/09/justice-audio-video-disco/): “When the track begins ? it’s like an 4:53 intro. damn so boooooooring.” I think such a comment betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of what makes this song good, and more importantly, what makes this song interesting.
Audio, Video, Disco feels more like a hard-as-fuck rock’n’roll song that just happens to have electro style instrumentation. The first 20-or-so seconds are minor scales — kind of like the opening riffs of a metal tune. The song gets going with a driving, room-filling beat, but keeps the focus on its shredding synth riffs and madman piano (which is, in my opinion, the hands-down star of this tune).
I think what the comment I quoted above asks is: where’s the drop? Where’s the breakdown? Why isn’t this electro act producing electro?
The Breakdown: The breakdown is one of the traditional electronic music elements that Justice has left in the track. It comes at 2:07, where the song boils down to just synth and vocal, and builds some anticipation for the climax to come. What’s important about the breakdown, though, is that it does not end with a drop, like most electro, but with something entirely different.
The Climax: Around 3:10, the song begins to climax; you can hear the bass cut, and the pitch build, but rather than dropping to “hard beatz,” we drop to super-intense piano that lasts for about another minute. Holy balls is it an exciting way to climax a song, and it’s a technique borrowed straight out of hard rock.
Audio, Video, Disco lacks the immediacy of Civilization, sure, but I think it harbors a great deal more complexity and I think, in the long run, will continue to whip crowds into rock’n’roll frenzies wild enough to shock millions of 1950’s moms for years to come.