Tryst

Djustin

Labrador Records, 2016

http://djustin.com

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 06/27/2018

Even though Johan Angergard and Rose Suau reside on different continents (Europe and North America), the pair come together to create driving beats, imaginative synth and consuming vocals as Djustin. It seems like a simple arrangement; Angergard builds the songs and Suau pens lyrics and delivers vocals, but it's not quite that basic as the five tunes on this 12” EP contain some of the most alluring electro-pop that exists today.  my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

This quick listen leads with the vibrant ’80s synth of “Tryst,” as Suau's pristine, angelic vocals give this energetic, thriving tune life. Not unlike New Order on Prozac, it's a dance club affair that's powerful, imaginative and memorable. “Headless” follows and is a similar excursion though a bit darker in scope. Again Suau’s voice adds greatly to the tune, in a very soulful fashion, and much attention is paid to rhythm and restraint with some hints at post-punk in the atmosphere.

Side B cranks the synth up a notch on the dreamy “Stars,” which might be the quintessential pop song of the decade with its throwback feel, pulsating beat and sensual approach. It’s an offering that should have immediately hit the dance charts. “Concrete” is the outsider selection here, as it moves tensely along with hypnotic, brooding introspection, and serves as a welcome anomaly here. The EP exits on “Star (Follow Me),” the most mysterious of the songs, and encapsulates everything the band does well into a flourishing conclusion.

Angergard and Suau have already done great things musically in Club 8, Acid House Kings and Shoestrings respectively, and the infectious electro-pop of Djustin is another step forward. Tryst is the precursor to their glorious LP Voyagers, and keeps the theme consistent from Labrador Records (which is run in part by Angergard), as the home for some of the world’s most underappreciated indie-pop.

Rating: B+

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