In electronic music today, in a time where singles & EPs are most prevalent, good full length albums are hard to come by. In that rare occasion when a good dance album is released & discovered, even then will you find that only half, maybe three quarters of the tracks are absolute killers. An occasion even more rare is when you can put on an album, sit back and thoroughly enjoy each track from start to finish; no skipping, no fast forwarding…just pure bliss all the way through. Jupiter, the wonderful French-English duo based out of Paris, have beautifully accomplished this feat by producing a full length album that dazzles and shines from beginning to end. The album, “Juicy Lucy” is surely one of 2012′s finest and in a unified gesture of appreciation, four of today’s biggest electronic music blogs have come together to make sure the world knows what a truly great album Jupiter have made.
Gotta Dance Dirty, Harder Blogger Faster, Nashville Nights and Stoney Roads have united in an Avengers-style alliance to proudly present: JUPITER APPRECIATION DAY! It’s a celebration of Jupiter and the release of “Juicy Lucy” and a unique way to showcase the band’s songwriting & musicianship and how the band’s influences across the spectrum of every genre & every decade have helped them produce one of our favorite albums of the year.
For JUPITER APPRECIATION DAY, GDD, HBF, NN + SR each fired off a round of questions to the band, resulting in a clever + insightful interview. And capping off the feature is the sharp, crafty, spot-on review of “Juicy Lucy” by Harder Blogger Faster.
Jupiter – Multi-blog Interview:
Gotta Dance Dirty -
If you could form a supergroup of deceased artists/musicians, who would you pick (bonus points for coming up w/a cool band name)?
Easy one, we’ve thought about this for ages and no one ever asked us: Nile Rodgers on the guitar, Bernard Edwards on the bass, Slash on Lead Guitar (mainly for the attitude!), Herbie Hancock on Keys, Donna Summer as lead vocalist and Sly Dunbar on the drums. If we could also pick backing vocals, we would definitely go for Sister Sledge.
What are your all time favorite album covers?
“Honey” by the Ohio Players is a favorite! This is such a sensual cover and we feel it encompasses the whole concept of disco in just one beautiful frame. In a different style, The Beatles’ “Revolver” is awesome. There’s way too many to count.
What types of wine pair well with “Juicy Lucy”?
Champagne, soooo Studio 54 ;)
Which article of clothing in your closet can you not live without?
Quarles really loves his denim jacket; he bought it 3 years ago in a second hand store and has been wearing it ever since. Amélie is not quite so sentimental with her clothes; however, she definitely could not live without a necklace her siblings got her a couple of years back for her birthday. She wears it pretty much every day!
What are three super cheesy tracks that you’re not embarrassed to admit you love?
Barry Manilow – Copacabana. Amélie used to play that one so often in parties that our friends got extremely bored with it. We like pretty much everything in this song: the music, the voice, the backing vocals and above all the story! There’s something special about upbeat songs with tragic stories: Lola’s was definitely a tragic one.
Guns N’ Roses – November Rain. Cheesiest song ever and the video is not of any help. But this song is like a anthem to us: when we have doubts about whether or not a song we are writing is over top we think about November Rain and everything becomes sophisticated, it’s magical.
Axel Bauer – Cargo De Nuit. It’s actually a very good tune, we believe it could appeal to anyone who likes our music! Still, in France people avoid confessing their secret love for that song like the black plague.
Harder Blogger Faster -
If your studio was on fire and you could go in a save one thing, what would it be and why?
This is not very sexy but I guess we would save our hard drive as our whole life is on it. Otherwise we’d grab our most expensive piece of equipment: a Jupiter-6.
If you could choose any film from history for Juicy Lucy to be the soundtrack, what would it be and why?
It’s kind of obvious but we would go for Boogie Nights. This movie is such a reference to us: we loved every single part of it. We can watch it over and over and over: that one part where America turns into the 1980s with Sniff’n The Tears’ Driver Seat still gives us goosebumps. As a second choice, we’d go for Semi Pro, just to see Will Ferrel getting down to Juicy Lucy!
What’s the coolest thing in your house?
Amélie’s is not a thing, but a cute little guinea pig; he’s named Sly, he’s really into Disco and Funk and he’s a true diva. Quarles’ would be his ’76 Fender Strat, which he refers to as “Disco Strat”.
What do you collect apart from records?
Quarles used to collect sneakers but we now allocate most of our resources to collecting synths. Well, at least we try to because the prices never seem to stop rising…
If you could remix any song from history, what would you choose and why?
Stevie Wonder’s Superstitious (if no one else ever did), the clavinet riff is made of so many different tracks we could go crazy creative with it!
Nashville Nights -
Your bio mentions you guys met on an empty dance floor in London. Can you elaborate on this night and how you came to form Jupiter?
We were at the same party and at some point the DJ played “Mama Used to Say” by Junior; everybody left the dancefloor except for the two of us. We had a chat and quickly realized we had the same musical tastes. It was bit of a “let’s start a band!” moment, we decided to play music together and let the magic happened ;)
What’s your ideal live performance environment?
Packed venue and lots of drinks. Good food can be helpful too.
Did any aspects of your music listening experience change after becoming a producer?
After becoming a producer, you can’t listen to a song without scientifically analyzing it: it’s automatic. Sometimes we regret the times back when we could listen to a song and appreciate it for what it’s worth, instead of just thinking things like “nice reverb on that cowbell”. On the positive side, that means we can come to appreciate any type of music, as long as we find something interesting beyond the actual music (production skills and such).
Parts of Juicy Lucy remind me of Cicada’s 2006 self titled debut. Are you guys fans? Which artists did you draw influences from while crafting the album?
To be honest we’ve never heard of them but we’ll give it a go! As far as Juicy Lucy is concerned, the album is definitely a blend of all the different things we listen to: Chic, The Doors, Giorgio Moroder, The Beastie Boys, The Clash, Interpol etc…
At the time we were mixing the album we used to watch every single live performance on Midnight Special. It’s priceless to witness legendary disco acts play live at the peak of their career, a time when lip-sync was the norm; picture Chic, KC & Sunshine Band and Donna Summer, complete with a proper disco orchestra. To be able to immerse yourself into the reality of what made that music so amazing is priceless, so I guess it had a big influence on our record.
Stoney Roads -
What’s your preferred DAW?
People are always surprised when we answer this one! We actually produce everything on FL Studio (formerly Fruity Loops), and we’re not planning to change anytime soon. We actually started making music on this software and never bothered to switch as we grew accustomed to its ins and outs: all the shortcuts, workaround tricks etc…and to be honest it’s an awesome tool if you can master it. It would take so much time to switch to another software anyway. Daft Punk actually used one of the bundled plugins in “Derezzed” ;)
A majority of readers will most likely be bedroom producers, what advice can you give them?
We have the chance to be part of a generation that can emulate any instrument on an average laptop, but it’s a double-edged sword. Too much freedom, endless possibilities can make you unfocused. Our best advice would be working your way up, by restricting yourself to only one virtual synth, one drum machine and a couple of effects and expand only once you mastered them.
Before we started Jupiter we messed around so many plugins, but before we had time to understand how one worked we were already fiddling with a new one. We realized it was counterproductive, so we bought a hardware synth (a Juno-106), and waited until we mastered it to move onto a next one. Once you do that you can really exploit all the potential computer-assisted music has to offer.
Is Juicy Lucy a real lady in your life and if so how can we get in contact with her?
There’s a Juicy Lucy in all of us, most people just don’t know it yet.
Analog or software synths?
If you mean analog or software synths (emulating analog hardware), we’d obviously go for the real deal. Not only do they sound better, but having the actual machine in front of you is a totally different experience altogether. We have a handful of those, but their soft counterparts still sound amazing. The good thing with having actual synths around us is that sometimes you’re just playing around like a kid playing with toys, and before you know it you’re building a descent song: this is exactly what happened on “St Petersbourg”. Then again, in terms of budget it’s a totally different story, so we’re happy with our Minimoog plugin. For now!
Will you be visiting Australia anytime soon?
We definitely hope to! Our friend Anoraak toured Australia twice and each time he came back saying he had an amazing time. We’d love to see koalas too, we heard every Australian person has at least two of those in their living room.
Jupiter – “Juicy Lucy” Album Review by Harder Blogger Faster:
Nu-Disco’s rise over the last 3 years has been meteoric; but it hasn’t reached a point where it has broken the mainstream glass-ceiling. It would be fair to say that disco’s marquee time is still in the late 70’s and early 80’s – but with Jupiter’s debut album ‘Juicy Lucy’ it could be that another relatively unknown French duo have made an album that can finally stand alongside the greats both past and present.
It’s as accomplished as you can get without sounding too much like a nostalgic ride down to Studio 54. At the heart of Jupiter’s debut album are proper songs, songs that could be played on daytime radio alongside the Kanye’s and Beyonce’s of this world. From the Chromeo-esque vocoded chorus’ of ‘Elliot Uppercut’ to their current single ‘One O Six’ their unique brand disco never gets boring and doesn’t just trudge the classics for references – they try reimagining them in a world where dance music is at the core of youth culture.
You’ve got everything from future anthem, and call to arms ‘Set The Course of The Nile’ to hip-hop infused funk of ‘Hula Hoop’, which shows off their ability to make music that is genuinely original, with a peculiar use of effects on Amelie’s voice. By the halfway mark it hits its stride with cosmic keys of ‘Sake’ which effortlessly sits alongside the more bubblegum pop vocals of ‘Oh I’.
‘Juicy Lucy’ is a triumph in every sense of the word, the album snatches every memorable melody from the last 30 years and condenses them into a short, but sweet 50 minutes. It references everything from Les Rhythmes Digital, Chic and Daft Punk to Kate Bush, The Jacksons and Blondie. There are no weak tracks to speak of and Amelie’s vocals are incredible – they’re organic, yet, intisingly foreign – and for what it’s worth she’s not splattered across every song and chorus, but liberally sprinkled like magic pixie dust.
With two of disco’s biggest stars passing within a week of each other, the changing of the guard is happening now. But thankfully, with Jupiter, disco is in a safe pair of hands.
HBF Rating 5/5
Head on over to iTunes to #GETJUICY with Jupiter’s debut album, Juicy Lucy, releasing today!