“DANCE” from the story of justice: inspiration, examples and more

What you need to know:

“DANCE” is one of Justice’s most memorable songs and here we take a look at how it came to be.

Can you believe Justice’s “DANCE” is almost 20 years old since its release as a single? The song was released in 2007 and although it wasn’t released as the duo’s debut single (that was “Waters Of Nazareth”), it’s fair to say that it was the song that made them known worldwide.

I follow this song and the album Cross, Gaspard Augé and Xavier de Rosnay They managed to move from the Parisian underground scene into the international focus of not only electronic music, but also a very diverse audience; from the poppiest to those that have more in common with rock, to say the least.

Dance Justice
Gaspard Augé and Xavier de Rosnay in Monterrey. Photo: Getty.

To say that the song is brilliant is obvious… But what makes it so special? What’s behind your bizarre references to Michael Jackson, right down to the chorus? Here we tell you the story behind the song that made Justice’s breakthrough.

“Cross”: An album with operatic ambitions that took a lot of time

Yes, Cross by Justice is an electronic album that is heavily influenced by house and disco music in the truest sense of the word. But that doesn’t mean it was just built on different beats and samples. In any case you can say that The debut album from the duo of Gaspard and Xavier has a certain operatic essence.

“In the case of our first album We tried to make a disco opera that combines classical and baroque music with danceable rhythms.. Combine sophistication and fun with a rhythm, and all 12 songs on Cross have these elements.”said de Rosnay in an interview with Attack Magazine.

Justice Dance
Cover of “Cross”, Justice’s debut album. Photo: Ed Banger Records.

As mentioned by Xavier de Rosnay, the songs of Cross They are all derivatives of the same track, but with different structures. “After we wrote the material, we kept making adjustments with it Even if there were big stylistic differences between each track, everything would flowXavier mentioned in this interview.

“Genesis” and “Valentine” are the songs where the influence of opera on Justice’s debut album is felt most strongly. But also in more well-known songs such as: B. we find stylistic arrangements, even gospel influences “DANCE”, which everyone knows, among other things, from the voices sung by a children’s choir.

Justice Dance
Gaspard Augéy Xavier de Rosnay. Photo: Getty.

The idea of ​​the children’s choir in “DANCE” by Justice

How did Justice end up in the unforgettable children’s choir in “DANCE”? First you have to understand the strange inspiration behind it. According to Xavier de Rosnay’s statement to Attack Magazine, both he and Gaspard Augé were fascinated by a legendary remix some time ago Larry Levan had supposedly recorded “Stand On The Word.”an original song from the early 1980s by Phyliss McKoy Joubert and a choral group called the Celestial Choir.

The French duo really liked the alleged remix through the element of the gospel choir led by a group of children… So Xavier and Gaspard decided that they wanted to have their own song with a children’s choir. Justice then received help from Damian Harris, a British DJ who many will remember best General midfieldHis stage name.

Midfield General, who worked with Ed Banger Records (Justice’s record label) in the mid-2000s, managed to contact the London organization Foundation for Young Musicians The children of this choir will take part in the first versions of “BEAT”.a demo that eventually became the B-side of the version of “DANCE” we all know.

The curious story of “Stand On The Word” and the alleged Larry Levan remix

To create “DANCE,” the members of Justice were inspired by a rumored remix of “Stand On The Word” by legendary DJ Larry Levan apparently published in 2003. And we say “probably” because it is believed, at least officially, that the Levan remix actually doesn’t exist. The explanation is…

Originally released in 1982, “Stand On The Word” was a gospel piece that Phyliss McKoy Joubert composed for the album Someone prayed for it. This album was financed by the First Baptist Church of Crown Heights in New York, whose music minister was Phyliss Joubert.

As one would expect, there were various choirs in this church, both adults and children, who ended up being involved in the recording of this gospel album…

Dance Justice
Cover of the album “Somebody Prayed For This” by Phyliss McKoy Joubert with Celestial Choir. Photo: First Baptist Church of Crown Heights.

The question here is: How did a song written in a church end up on the path to electronic and dance music? According to the Red Bull Music Academy It’s all thanks to legendary DJ Tony Humphrieswho worked in the Birdel’s Records store in the early 80s and specialized, among other things, in gospel records.

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Humphries heard “Stand On The Word” in the store and bought two copies of it Someone prayed for it. His plan was to touch extended versions and remixes of this song during his stay at the well-known club Zanzibar from New Jersey, where Larry Levan also played.

Some time later, Phyliss McKoy Joubert and the Next Plateau Records label approached Tony Humphries to create new versions of the song. These tracks were later released as part of a release attributed to the Joubert Singers project..

Justice Dance
DJ Tony Humphries. Photo: via Resident Advisor.

The Larry Levan remix doesn’t exist

That said, there are several remixes of “Stand On The Word” dating back to the 80s. but none are officially attributed to Larry Levan as such. Why did the members of Justice cite this “Ghost remix” as the inspiration for “DANCE”?

The thing is, there was an unreleased release in 2003 with this supposed remix of the song. The material was printed with a white label with the legend “Larry 02 – Unreleased Remix” and as a result, a rumor spread that this version was Larry Levan’s… And well, a lot of people knew the song thanks to this mysterious release.

Dance of Justice
The album with the imprint “Larry 02 – Unreleased Remix”. Photo: YouTube screenshot.

But as we mentioned before, Levan is not officially mentioned in any remix of “Stand On The Word”.“. And in fact, sites like Discogs publish the album with disclaimers about the source of the material.

Another theory is that Larry Levan played the song so often in his DJ sets in the ’80s that that someone recorded it and published it illegally, but it’s not confirmed either. This “unreleased remix” is a real mystery.

So if we take into account that the original song was lost over time and only “revived” with the rumor surrounding Levan’s alleged remix in 2003.we can understand why the members of Justice cite the song as an influence for “DANCE.”

Dance of Justice
Image from a Justice show in 2008. Photo: Getty.

The samples and microsamples in “Cross” and “DANCE”

Artists like Moby, Robbie Williams or Daft Punk They have used samples of other musicians’ songs as reference to develop their own songs (for example, “Porcelain”, “Rock DJ” and “Digital Love”).

But unlike them, Gaspard Augé and Xavier de Rosnay decided to create microsamplesthat is, taking extremely small excerpts from other artists’ songs to combine them into your own creations.

Just to give you an idea, the song Justice’s “Genesis” features tiny, imperceptible snippets of songs by Slipknot, Queen and 50 Cent. It is really impossible to identify these microsamples.

In the case of “DANCE”applies the same technique while also containing one of the most notable samples on the entire album Cross. The way the children’s choir sings at the beginning of the song, It is entirely inspired by “Me Against The Music,” a single by Britney Spears and Madonna.

Below we leave you the song of the Queen and the Princess of Pop so that you can compare it with that of Justice. Fast forward to minute 3:00 so they can identify the reference.

References to Michael Jackson in the Justice hit

And if that wasn’t enough, It is necessary to mention the references to Michael Jackson in the song. This is not about samples or anything like that… For Gaspard and Xavier, avowed fans of Jackson, it was fair to recall some of his songs and albums in the lyrics of the song.

So we have verses like “You are always there for music and me”in which the record is referred to Music and me by Michael, published in 1973. There is also the line “You were such a PYT-.”which reminds us of the song “Pretty Young Thing.” released on the album thriller.

“Simply child’s play” Justice’s song is a verse that references ABC from The Jackson 5… “Neither black nor white, it doesn’t matter.” is a mention of “Black Or White” from the album Dangerous from 1991…It is even believed that the verse “The way you move is a mystery” refers to Jackson’s classic moonwalk.

What many secrets and details in “DANCE” by Justice, right? We’re talking about a song that has by far stayed afloat and still stands the test of time almost 20 years after its release. Would you say it’s a definite 2000s classic? We believe it.

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