Daft Punk


In electronic music circles, all you could hear about a couple of years ago was the revival of ‘80s-era Italo disco—synth and vocoder-heavy Eurotrash futurism which (I think) had been banished to obscurity for a reason. Now it’s Space Disco, an even-more-obscure type characterized by Sci-Fi themes and laser beam sound effects. But all this crap, which you can easily avoid if not seeking out the revival compilations, can also be looked at as a means to the glorious end that was ‘90s French house—and Daft Punk lead the way! The duo (Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter, rarely seen without their astronaut helmets) took their name from an early Melody Maker review which called their first group, a Beach Boys-inspired band, “a bunch of daft punk.” Turns out the boys were a lot better at producing dance music, as the 1995 single “Da Funk” and “Around the World” made their debut album Homework a classic. Their subsequent Discovery gave us “One More Time,” which my college radio station once played for 24 hours. Simple as other Eurodisco forms but done better, their sound is all solid basslines, pounding rhythms, and vocal repetition-repetition-repetition. They aren’t stylistic deviants, but they know how to throw a party (get on YouTube for their insane Coachella ‘06 performance, where they played from inside a massive pyramid, surrounded by pulsating grids). Daft Punk channel the joy of dance music in ways few producers can, so by all means, don’t stop the dancing.

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