Max Justus + Robots = <3

Lucas Jensen | October 2, 2008 9:30 am

Max Justus is a 20-year-old, Kansas City-based electronic composer whose stuff comes off like the love child of Harold Faltermeyer and my old NES, which is to say it hits me in all the right spots. He revels in just making beats and bleeps and throwing them out there, and there’s always a hint of softness and beauty behind the retro goodies. It’s rare that this kind of thing strikes me as emotionally generous and fun.

Stuart Bury directed a video for Justus’ “Ctrl_Alt_Dance” that also has a simple warmth to it, matching the glassy beauty of the track. It’s little more than animated drawings of cute robots dancing. Sometimes the robots get a little nasty, but that’s about it. And I love it. Lately, I’ve found videos of this nature much more artistically successful than the overwrought and often absurdist “story videos” of many indie bands out there, to say nothing of slick, noisy mainstream videos that say a lot but signify nothing. Maybe it’s the old R.E.M. video fan in me, but I’d rather watch a simple, direct artistic vision that syncs with the material than another execrable attempt at humor or insipid performance video.

Of course, it could just be the robots.

The track below, “Seven”, is from his new album, Five Leaping Lizards, and it’s just rad. It sounds like an alternate take on the Knight Rider theme that was rejected for being too cool.

Max Justus, “Seven” [MP3; thanks to The Record Machine] Max Justus [MySpace–free full-length downloads within!]