Who doesn’t love Daft Punk? When I was younger I was a bit thrown by the fact that they wore these helmets, and talked as if they were actually robots (yes, they are somewhat homosapien ). But it seemed almost universal that they became this extremely popular, well respected dance group. When Kanye West released Stronger with their sample on it (Harder Better Faster Stronger), it encouraged the world to start getting into their music again.
Their popularity was so huge, that they decided to do a gig in the UK and released their live album Alive in 2007. But how do they do it? What makes them so unique? Who are the REAL Daft Punk and where did they come from? Here is their story.
Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter grew up in Paris, and met in 1987 where they formed an indie rock band called Darlin. They were both guitarists and they also played the bass. They hired a drummer who joined the group, and with a couple of demos and gigs, they realised it just wasn’t meant to be. Thomas knew their music was average, and dispatched their musical venture just after 6 months. After reviewing their music, Melody Maker described the group as “a bunch of Daft Punk.” The duo found the article amusing, and decided to forget indie, and work with synthesizers and drum machines.
Ditching their musical routes, and the youthful pleasure of a voiceless indie band, the duo experimented with more of first wave acid house and techno. The dancefloor appeared to be more appealing than what they first set out to do. They released “The New Wave,” in 1993, and already were being dubbed as fresh new dance music innovators. “Da Funk” (which is an awesome video too may I add) was their first true hit selling around 30,000 copies.
After a minor bidding war between labels, who were after the up and coming group who were held in high regard so early in their career too. Virgin Records signed them and released their first album Homework waaay back in 1996!
Their sound is just too awesome. Its a dance floor blend of progressive house, funk, electro and echoes of techno, with very experimental hip hop style breakbeats, and excessive unique crowd samples. They are almost too catchy (search the Around the World Lyrics, that will surely make you smile). They were making anthems, similar to the likes of the Chemical Brothers at the time.
They have released several albums, but there is something about Discovery which was released in 2001. As a kid I remember being at home and watching a bunch of blue alien things (which I assumed were giant smurfs) in their video. The videos were actually from a movie produced by Daft Punk called Interstella 555. Its great fun, the album is the score, its probably on Youtube somewhere.
But what is it about Discovery. Its like stepping into a world they have ever created. What was originally a rock band is echoed in tracks like Digital Love and Aerodynamic where you can hear awesome guitar riffs, and a space age style solo! This album is more than the tedious progressive rubbish you normally hear in clubs and on the radio. Its an experience. This beautiful music. There has never been an album that fuses such repetitive genres of music that has such an impact. If you haven’t “discovered” Discovery, then do so. Truly spectacular.
I was inspired to write and get back into Daft Punk, when I found out they will be doing the new Tron Legacy movie soundtrack next year. They will also be doing a set of live shows in 2010 and 2011. They are in hot demand, and extremely difficult to get your hands on, so if you do, you will feel like Charlie going to see Willy Wonka. Rock on, oh I mean, whatever the electro term for it is. Fin.