Gaspard Auge – Escapades (2021) [FLAC 24bit/44,1kHz]

Gaspard Augé – Escapades (2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 41:56 minutes | 494 MB | Genre: Electronic, House
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Genesis

Gaspard Auge releases his Debut Album Escapades. He is best known as one half of Justice, the duo that united rock and rave and whose dancefloor smashes defined a generation. Gaspard made an instrumental album whose sound will be familiar to Justice ’s fanbase, echoing some previous works and inspirations of the cult duet. Escapades sounds like a UFO landing from another galaxy, or time, a baroque masterpiece that reimagines European classical music for this century.

Gaspard Augé’s first solo album turns away from the new wave influences and attempts at pop songwriting that featured prominently in Justice’s second and third albums, instead going for a widescreen prog-disco epic that almost seems more like a soundtrack than the score for the absurdist horror flick Rubber that he co-wrote with Mr. Oizo. Augé draws from the salad days of French house as well as the golden eras of space disco and prog rock all at once, crafting flashy, fanfare-like productions packed with intricate details and insistent rhythms, proving that he hasn’t lost his touch for creating maximalist dance music. “Force Majeure” bursts forth with grand, stadium-ready keyboard melodies and swift drum fills, hitting a disco stride before introducing fuzzy guitars, rippling synths, and French Touch filtering. “Rocambole” is unabashedly upbeat and sunny, with a cowbell-heavy beat and almost Supertramp-like keyboard hooks, along with playfully looped bridges that build up anticipation for the next level. The downtempo tracks are laced with ghostly choral vocals and even Baroque instrumentation, and their dramatic pacing nods to the suspense of vintage horror scores. “Hey!” converts that tension into bombastic disco, placing sharp strings and jagged arpeggios high in the mix, and pausing for a woozy, flashback-like breakdown. The incredibly fun “Captain” and swinging “Lacrimosa” similarly feel a bit drugged and disoriented, which only adds to the thrills. “Belladone” is another expertly paced banger, with more haunting vocals and hypnotic loops that become a hook in their own right, and “Vox” is simply epic synth-disco recalling vintage Cerrone. For an album that thinks big, Escapades avoids being a sprawling mess, as the songs are incredibly focused and immediate, never trying to stuff too many ideas in, and never overstaying their welcome. It’s far more mature than the harsh electro-house of Waters of Nazareth-era Justice, but it feels like a return to that level of creative inspiration.- Paul Simpson

1. Welcome (00:38)
2. Force Majeure (03:26)
3. Rocambole (03:25)
4. Europa (03:47)
5. Pentacle (03:56)
6. Hey! (04:14)
7. Captain (03:22)
8. Lacrimosa (03:48)
9. Belladone (04:16)
10. Casablanca (03:30)
11. Vox (03:08)
12. Rêverie (04:26)