Archive for March 31st, 2008

Daft Punk Week

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For no good reason other than I’ve been listening to Daft Punk’s Alive a lot recently, I’ve decided to dedicate an entire week to the French duo. Daft Punk hit their peak in the late ‘90s around the same time other Parisian electronic musicians and DJs were popularizing Frenchified house music. But Daft Punk has been able to maintain a modicum of staying power where most of the big beat artists of the era (Chemical Brothers, Fatboy Slim, et al) have faded from memory.

Daft Punk rose to international prominence in 1997 with their album Homework, which featured the hit tracks “Da Funk” and “Around the World”. The 2001 release of Discovery was a departure from Homework’s more gritty sound. This new album was far more textured and dense, with nods to ‘70s American FM radio. More recent albums have been somewhat of a let down though, since Daft Punk hasn’t shown much interest in evolving their sound. Still, the duo has influenced the work of many current artists like Justice and Ratatat.

It would be a huge oversight on my part if I didn’t mention Daft Punk’s visual side. Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo always appear in costume, whether it’s a show, music video, or public appearance. Daft Punk has taken the shtick one step past KISS of yesteryear and forged an identity that shares a closer affinity to Mexican wrestling than electronic music. During the Homework era, the duo chose to blur their press photos, but by the time Discovery came out, the two had adopted a robot look consisting of dark leather jumpsuits and futuristic helmets as seen in the photo above.

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