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Daft Punk
Daft Punk is the name of two musicians/directors, Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter. The duo has released four studio albums, several singles, music videos and a full-length movie. The duo originated in France and have been active since 1993.

History Edit

Early years (1987–1993) Edit

Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo met in 1987 while attending the Lycée Carnot, a secondary school in Paris.[1][2] The two became good friends through their shared love and music and film, and they would create their own short films and demo songs. This eventually led to the formation of the guitar-based group called Darlin' with Laurent Brancowitz in 1992.[5] Bangalter on bass, de Homem-Christo on guitar and vocals, while Brancowitz performed on drums.[3] The indie rock trio had branded themselves after The Beach Boys song of the same name, which they covered along with an original composition. Stereolab released both tracks on a multi-artist Duophonic Records EP and invited the band to open for stage shows in the United Kingdom.[4] Bangalter felt that "The rock n' roll thing we did was pretty average, I think. It was so brief, maybe six months, four songs and two gigs and that was it."[5] A negative review in Melody Maker subsequently dubbed the music "daft punky trash". Instead of dismissing the review, they found it to be amusing.[6] As de Homem-Christo stated, "We struggled so long to find [the name] Darlin', and this happened so quickly."[7] Darlin' soon disbanded, leaving Brancowitz to pursue other efforts with Phoenix. Bangalter and de Homem-Christo formed Daft Punk and experimented with drum machines and synthesizers.

Homework era (1993–1999) Edit

Main article: Homework#Recording History

In 1993 Daft Punk attended a rave at EuroDisney, where they met Stuart Macmillan of Slam, co-founder of the label Soma Quality Recordings.[8] The demo tape given to Macmillan at the rave formed the basis for Daft Punk's debut single, "The New Wave", a limited release in 1994.[5] The single also contained the final mix of "The New Wave" called "Alive", which was to be featured on their first album.

Daft Punk returned to the studio in May 1995 to record "Da Funk". It became their first commercially successful single the same year. After the success of "Da Funk", Daft Punk looked to find a manager. They had no trouble finding one at the time as they chose Pedro Winter, who regularly promoted them and other artists at his Hype night clubs.[3] The band signed with Virgin Records in September 1996 and made a deal through which they licensed their tracks to the major label through their production company, Daft Trax.[3][1] Bangalter spoke of the duo's decision to sign with Virgin:

Many record companies offered us deals. They came from everywhere, but we decided to wait--partly because we didn't want to lose control of what we had created. We turned down many record companies. We weren't interested in the money, so we turned down labels that were looking for more control than we were willing to give up. In reality, we're more like partners with Virgin. We've got much more control than money. You can't get everything. We live in a society where money is what people want, so they can't get the control. We chose. Control is freedom. People say we're control freaks, but control is controlling your destiny without controlling other people. We're not trying to manipulate other people, just controlling what we do ourselves. Controlling what we do is being free. People should stop thinking that an artist that controls what he does is a bad thing. A lot of artists today are just victims, not having control, and they're not free. And that's pathetic. If you start being dependent on money, then money has to reach a point to fit your expenses.[9]
"Da Funk" and "Alive" were later included on Daft Punk's 1997 debut album Homework. The album was regarded as an innovative synthesis of techno, house, acid house and electro styles, and is widely acknowledged as one of the most influential dance music albums of the nineties. It was during this period of change in dance music that Daft Punk became largely successful. They combined the aforementioned music styles with crowd pleasing elements of rave. The most successful single from Homework was "Around the World", which is known for the repeating chant of the song's title. Daft Punk also produced a series of music videos for Homework directed by Spike Jonze, Michel Gondry, Roman Coppola and Seb Janiak. The collection of videos was released in 1999 and titled D.A.F.T.: A Story About Dogs, Androids, Firemen and Tomatoes.

Discovery era (1998–2004)Edit

DaftPunk Unmasked

Daft Punk Unmasked

By 1998 the duo were well into the recording sessions for their second album, which had begun a year earlier.[10] The 2001 release Discovery took on a slicker and distinctly synthpop-oriented style, initially stunning fans of Daft Punk's previous material in Homework. The group states that the album was conceived as an attempt to reconnect with a playful, open-minded attitude associated with the discovery phase of childhood.[11] This accounts for the heavy use of themes and samples from the late '70s to early '80s era on the album. It reached #2 in the United Kingdom, and its single "One More Time" was a major club and mainstream hit, which nearly topped the UK Singles Chart. The singles "Digital Love" and "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" were also very successful in the UK and on the United States dance chart, and "Face to Face" hit #1 on the USA club play charts despite a limited single release. A 45-minute excerpt from a Daftendirektour performance recorded at Birmingham, UK in 1997 was also released in 2001, entitled Alive 1997. 2003 first saw the release of the feature-length animated film Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem. Daft Punk produced the film under the supervision of Leiji Matsumoto, whom they have said is their childhood hero.[12] The album Daft Club was also released to promote the film. It features a collection of remixes previously made available through an online membership service of the same name.

Human After All era (2004–2008)Edit

Starting on September 13 and ending November 9, 2004, Daft Punk devoted six weeks to creating new material.[13] The duo released the album Human After All in March 2005. Reviews were mixed, mostly citing its overly repetitive nature and seemingly rushed recording. The singles taken from this album were "Robot Rock", "Technologic", "Human After All", "The Prime Time of Your Life" and "The Brainwasher". The earliest official statement from Daft Punk concerning the album was "we believe that Human After All speaks for itself."

A Daft Punk anthology CD/DVD entitled Musique Vol. 1 (1993-2005) was released on April 4, 2006. It contains new music videos for "The Prime Time of Your Life" and "Robot Rock (Maximum Overdrive)". Daft Punk also released a remix album of Human After All called Human After All: Remixes. A limited edition included two kubricks of Daft Punk as robots.
La-et-ms-daft-punk-under-the-helmets-20140128-001

On May 21, 2006, Daft Punk premiered their first directed film, Daft Punk's Electroma at the Cannes Film Festival sidebar Director's Fortnight.[14] The film does not include their own music, which is a first for the duo considering their previous DVD and film releases (D.A.F.T. for Homework and Interstella 5555 for Discovery). Midnight screenings of the film were shown in Paris theaters starting from the end of March 2007.[15] Initial public comments have since been positive.

Daft Punk released their second live album titled Alive 2007 on November 19, 2007. It contains the duo's performance in Paris from their Alive 2007 tour.[16] The live version of "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" from Alive 2007 was released as a single. A music video for the single directed by Olivier Gondry features footage shot by 250 audience members at Daft Punk's Brooklyn appearance at KeySpan Park, Coney Island.[17]

Tron: Legacy (2008–2010)Edit

Following the Alive 2007 tour, Daft Punk focused on other projects. A 2008 interview with Pedro Winter revealed that the duo returned to their Paris studio to work on new material. Winter also stepped down from managing Daft Punk to focus attention on his Ed Banger Records label and his work as Busy P.[18] He stated in a later interview that the duo are working with an unspecified management company in Los Angeles. Jamie Stevens of Infusion commented that Daft Punk had rented the Jim Henson Studios for one month to record material for a new album, adding, "Who know[s] if it will ever come out though?"[19] In 2008 Daft Punk placed 38th in a worldwide official poll of DJ Magazine after debuting at position 71 in 2007.[20] On February 8, 2009, Daft Punk won Grammy Awards for Alive 2007 and its single "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger".

Daft Punk provided eleven new mixes featuring their music for the video game DJ Hero. They also appear in the game as playable characters, along with their own venue. The duo appear wearing their Discovery-era helmets and Human After All-era leather attire.

In March 2009, it was announced at the 2009 San Diego Comic-Con that Daft Punk was signed to write the score to the film Tron: Legacy.[21] Daft Punk made a cameo appearance in the film as disc jockey programs at a nightclub within the film's virtual world.[22]

The soundtrack album of the film was released on 6 December 2010.[23] An official music video for "Derezzed" also premiered on the MTV Networks on the same day the album was released.[24] The video, which features Olivia Wilde as the character Quorra in specially-shot footage, along with images of Daft Punk in Flynn's Arcade, was later made available for purchase from the iTunes Store and included in the DVD and Blu-ray releases of the film. Walt Disney Records released a remix album of the score titled Tron: Legacy Reconfigured on 5 April 2011.[25]

In 2010 Daft Punk were admitted into the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, an order of merit of France. Bangalter and de Homem-Christo were individually awarded the rank of Chevalier (knight).[26] On October of that year, Daft Punk made a surprise guest appearance during the encore of Phoenix's show at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Random Access Memories (2011-present)Edit

Main Article: Random Access Memories
Soma Records released a previously unpublished Daft Punk track called "Drive". The track was included in a twentieth anniversary multi-artist compilation of the Soma label.[27] In October 2011, Daft Punk placed 28th in a "top-100 DJs of 2011" list by DJ Magazine after appearing at position 44 in the year before.[28] On 19 January 2012, Daft Punk ranked No. 2 on Mixmag's Greatest Dance Acts of All Time, with The Prodigy at No. 1 by just a few points.[29]
Daft punk nile

Photo taken on February 8th, 2012. From right to left: Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, Nile Rodgers (down) and Thomas Bangalter

Speculations for the newest album came in early 2007, when the band had just finished the tour. In 2008, it was revealed by Busy P that the band was already in the studio recording new material, but it was later mentioned that Daft Punk disliked all of the material they had initially put together and scrapped all of the work.

On 26 February 2013, Daft Punk's official website and Facebook page announced the signing to Columbia with a picture of the duo's helmets, and a "Columbia" logo in the corner.[30] Billboards and posters featuring the helmets and logo then appeared in several major cities.[31]

On 2 March, a 15-second television ad aired during Saturday Night Live (SNL) depicting an animated, stylized version of the band's logo and the aforementioned image of the helmets.[32] A second TV ad also premiered that was similar to the first on Saturday Night Live, but with a different music clip and the title Random Access Memories in place of the stylized Daft Punk logo.[33] During the first night of Coachella Festival 2013, a third trailer debuted that featured Daft Punk, Pharrell Williams and Rodgers performing, as well as a list of collaborators on the album.[34]

Edit

The logo is credited to be designed by Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo in the liner notes of Homework.

Video GamesEdit

Daft Punk has very rare appearances in video games like:

  • DJ Hero (Playable characters; Songs: Around the World, Da Funk, Technologic, Television Rules The Nation, Robot Rock, and Short Circuit)
  • DJ Hero 2 (Song: Human After All)
  • Just Dance 3 (Song: Da Funk)
  • Just Dance 2014 (Song: Get Lucky)

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Daft Punk Musique Vol. 1 Official Website. Archived from 10 April 2006.
  2. "Daft Punk" (in French). RFI Musique. 3 December 2007. Archived from the original on 29 July 2009. Retrieved 6 July 2009.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 James, Martin. French Connections: From Discotheque to Discovery. London, United Kingdom: Sanctuary Publishing Ltd., 2003. pgs 265; 267; 268. (ISBN 1-86074-449-4)
  4. Chris Gill, "ROBOPOP" Archived 3 January 2006 at the Wayback Machine. (May 2001) Remix Magazine Online. Retrieved 6 March 2007.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Matthew Collin, "Do You Think You Can Hide From Stardom?" Archived 16 October 2015 at the Wayback Machine. (August 1997) Mixmag. Retrieved 6 March 2007.
  6. "Daft Punk" (in French). RFI Musique. 3 December 2007. Archived from the original on 29 July 2009. Retrieved 6 July 2009.
  7. Alan Di Perna, "We Are The Robots" Pulse!, April 2001, pp. 65–69.
  8. "Daft Punk" (in French). RFI Musique. 3 December 2007. Archived from the original on 29 July 2009. Retrieved 6 July 2009.
  9. "Yahoo! Music – Interviews". Yahoo! Music. 30 December 2010. Archived from the original on 9 August 2007. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
  10. Dombal, Ryan (15 May 2013). "Daft Punk: Cover Story Outtakes"Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 15 May 2013.
  11. Chris Gill, "ROBOPOP" Archived 3 January 2006 at the Wayback Machine. (May 2001) Remix Magazine Online. Retrieved 6 March 2007.
  12. Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem companion leaflet (2003)
  13. Human After All liner notes (2005). Retrieved 17 December 2007.
  14. Daft Punk's Electroma review Archived 12 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine. Variety. Retrieved 26 February 2007.
  15. Daft Punk's ElectromaScreenings Info (French) allocine.fr. Retrieved 11 April 2007.
  16. Exclusive: Daft Punk Unveil Live Album Details; Midlake to Release EP Archived 25 March 2015 at the Wayback Machine. Spin. Retrieved 27 August 2007.
  17. Daft Punk Announce Live Album Archived 21 September 2013 at the Wayback Machine. side-line.com. Retrieved 31 August 2007.
  18. Daft Punk Are Back in the Studio Archived 13 November 2012 at the Wayback Machine. inthemix.com. Retrieved 28 May 2008.
  19. Tron: Legacy's' orchestral score reveals a new side of Daft Punk Archived 26 April 2013 at the Wayback Machine.. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 7 April 2013.
  20. DJmag.com: Top 100 DJs – Results & HistoryArchived 4 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine. djmag.com. Retrieved 31 August 2007.
  21. "SDCC: Comic-Con: Disney 3D Hits Hall H!". 23 June 2009. Retrieved 23 June 2009.
  22. alexonx (26 October 2010). "Teaser trailer with "Derezzed" by Daft Punk". filmissimo.it. Archived from the original on 31 October 2010. Retrieved 26 October 2010.
  23. Official website of Tron Legacy's soundtrackArchived 25 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved 27 September 2010.
  24. "Review of Daft Punk's 'Derezzed' Music Video". MTV. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
  25. "Disney TRON: LEGACY Hits The Grid - Tuesday, April 5th".
  26. "Daft Punk chevaliers des Arts et des Lettres !"Archived 11 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine. by Laure Narlian, France 2 (24 August 2010). Retrieved 7 November 2010. (French)
  27. Soma Records announce... Soma20 – Daft Punk – Drive Unreleased 1994 Archived 20 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine. somarecords.com. Retrieved 25 August 2011.
  28. DJ Mag Top 100 DJs of 2011 Archived 23 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine. djmag.com. Retrieved 14 November 2012.
  29. Mixmag | Mixmag'S Greatest Dance Act of All Time Revealed Archived 21 January 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
  30. Phillips, Amy and Snapes, Laura (26 February 2013). "Daft Punk Confirm Alliance With Columbia"Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 26 February 2013.
  31. Batte, Elliott (20 March 2013). "Daft Punk Posters Pop Up Across the Globe – Album and Tour Just Around the Corner?". Stereoboard.com. Retrieved 9 April 2013.
  32. Phillips, Amy (2 March 2013). "Watch: Daft Punk Air Mysterious Advertisement During "Saturday Night Live""Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 24 March 2013.
  33. Gensler, Andy (24 March 2013). "Daft Punk 'Get Funky' in New Teaser Ad for Random Access Memories"Billboard. Retrieved 30 March 2013.
  34. Phillips, Amy (12 April 2013). "Daft Punk Confirm Julian Casablancas, Panda Bear, Pharrell, More Collaborations with Coachella Video"Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 13 April 2013.
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