Traffic sucks, so why not start your morning off with some music? You provide the toast and we’ll provide the jams.

Here are two videos that deal with the towerblocks of France, the banlieues that are and are not France’s projects.

The first is what I think is a TV airing of Jacno’s ‘Rectangle’ shot in 1980 with sort of a kind of an obsession with the very brutal architecture. Jacno was doing his electronic solo debut after making his name in punk with the group Stinky Toys.

There’s a bit of a glimpse of humanity in the ‘Rectangle’ video and there’s one in Justice’s controversial ‘Stress.’ It’s just that Justice’s video has an, er, slightly different tone. There’s a more open condemnation of the buildings the imposition the distant towerblocks have on people’s lives. The ‘Stress’ video debuted in early 2008. Only a few years earlier France had seen a bunch of riots that looks a lot like this video.

I wonder how much of the futuristic, modern, brutal French design I so adore fits in with the failure of the banlieues? The Citroën BX they burn to the ground certainly leaves a strong impression one way rather than the other.


Contact the author at raphael@jalopnik.com.