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Justice to produce Red Hot Chili Peppers?
Now this is weird. Just six weeks after we reported that it could be some time before Red Hot Chili Peppers release another album, rumours are surfacing that the band might be about to go back into the studio. This in itself is surprising, but our jaws hit the floor when we heard who's apparently in line to produce: French dance duo Justice.
Aside from a shared love of slap bass, it's difficult to work out what the two bands might have in common. However, if the rumours are true, you'd have to assume that the new album will represent a return to the funkier Chili Peppers sound of the Blood Sugar Sex Magik era.
This isn't the only strange producer/artist combo we've heard about recently: arty Brit rockers Franz Ferdinand have been working with Xenomania, the team responsible for the best of Girls Aloud's oeuvre, and Mark Ronson is helming at least some of the sessions for Kaiser Chiefs' new record (though lead singer Ricky Wilson is reported to have imposed a trumpet ban on the brass-happy producer).
Although these collaborations are unexpected, there is evidence that unusual creative partnerships can work. Eyebrows were raised when it was revealed that Rick Rubin was to produce Johnny Cash, but the former hip-hop overlord managed to coax some career-defining performances out of the aging Man In Black.
It's also worth noting that End Of The Century, The Ramones' Phil Spector-produced record that was released in 1980, turned out to be the band's best-selling album on both sides of the Atlantic.
That said, the Chilis/Justice match-up still sounds a bit wrong to us, with the prospect of a dance/funk/rock hybrid leaving MusicRadar concerned rather than excited.