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Review: Justin Faust ‘Spellbound’ Album Review

Just a few hours south of Berlin, Munich based producer and disco advocate Justin Faust continues to prove that Germans stand for more than just relentless head-jarring techno. Though dabbling in a genre determined to sit gently under the radar, Faust’s dexterity with the modern disco sound makes him one of the genre’s leading voices. He returns from a short musical hiatus to bring us his first full-length album ‘Spellbound‘ and, as the title suggests, it will bind you to the dance floor like some sort of frenzied enchantment.

A simmering ‘Intro’ leads directly into his 2011 original ‘Girl Talk’, before the first new track ‘Slowin On’ gets its debut. Together these three tracks waste no time in demonstrating Justin Faust’s aptitude for cosmically enticing synths. There is no lack of bouncing chord progressions and dance floor ingenuity. ‘Slowin On’ even integrates a sort of tapered interlude midway to create suspenseful distortion before quickly rising back for an energetic finish. After learning the mythical origins of a Jackalope, it’s easy to see how a track named after a half-rabbit-half-antelope creature shares an energy inherent with this speedy legend. The bouncing synths and hi hats weave in and out to paint a comical mental image of this would-be swift animal.

“Justin Faust proves that making crowds dance is not just his job, but a life goal.”

His tracks ‘Tonight and Tomorrow’ alongside the classic ‘Space Rhumba’ have enough constantly evolving chord progressions and layers to make even Todd Terje applaud. Just when you think ‘Tonight and Tomorrow’ looks like it may wind down Faust takes the chords a level higher, creating a subtle lift and giddy release before comfortably setting us back on solid ground. ‘Higher Hopes’ seems to exercise the most risk within this unquestioned disco-house album and integrates surprising elements. It introduces a light atmospheric in stark contrast to a squelchy bass-heavy effect that makes being unhappy virtually impossible.

In the age of the single and the EP, it was also refreshing to see Faust invest the dedication to create not one, but two interludes within the album. Each integrated far reaching influences, broken rhythms and tempo changes despite being a little over a minute each. Like a good story, the interludes offered respite between each disco anthem, connecting the tracks and proving why the album is not a dead art form. Justin Faust proves that making crowds dance is not just his job, but a life goal. Ranging from the upbeat rhythms of disco-house to the catchiness of electro-pop, ’Spellbound’ indeed has us spellbound. If ever there needed to be an argument for the validity of disco in modern music, Justin Faust would hold his own alongside weathered veterans of the genre.

HBF Rating 4/5

Buy it on Itunes: itunes.apple.com/us/album/spellbound/id908956188

Buy limited edition LP (300 copies only) at: discotexas.bigcartel.com/