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Daft Punk | Celebrate the career and legacy of one of music’s most important duets

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1997. Paris, France.

When “Homework“, the acclaimed debut album by duo Daft Punk, came out, no one could imagine the impact the musical act formed by Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter would have. After all, they were already emerging on the European electronic scene when they emerged as pioneers of French house in the early 1990s, masking themselves through a mysterious alter-ego who harnessed the power of synthesizers and drank deep. house, Chicago house and techno. Eighteen years after graduating, Homem-Christo and Bangalter once again shocked the world by announcing their dissociation, leaving behind only four studio albums, an iconic soundtrack and influences that have marked the most generations. various.

The truth is, electro-dance music, popularly known as EDM, wouldn’t have explosive public acceptance without the duo. Swedish artist Robyn, who owns one of the best albums of all time (“Body Talk”), would never have brought his hits “Dancing On My Own” and “Call Your Girlfriend” to life; “Hung Up” and the whole construction of “Confessions on a Dancefloor” would never see the light of day; Lady Gaga couldn’t promote an aesthetic and performative revolution in electronic music in the late 2000s. And, well, it was already possible to get a sense of how the phonographic scene wouldn’t be the same if the passionate artists. and applauds had not. met high praise at EuroDisney and formed the basis of their first single, “The New Wave” (whose limited release in 1994 left the track somewhat inaccessible at least until the start of the digital age).

At the end of the last century, the industry was engulfed by the dynamic forays of Eurodance – and it was up to Daft Punk to reshape that scenario. Of course, reviving the house was not a very easy task, but the spectacular result generated indescribable fruit, from the subtle criticisms of the establishment to the utter stylistic irreverence that was molded to the obligatory nature of conventionalisms ( something quite similar to what Madonna would do). do in 1998 with the impeccable “Ray of Light”, which would be responsible for bringing electronics to the United States). However, before her, the group met names like Spike Jonze and Roman Coppola for music videos that went against expectations and put them in the spotlight.

Daft Punk has taken over dance floors and playlists around the world showing that elements condemned by traditionalism are simply misinterpreted. The intensive and constant use of repetitive progressions, synthesizers and autocalibration became the hallmark of robotic and mechanical sound imagery, in the same way that Marinetti had presided over the Futuristic Manifesto and all its exaltation on technological and urban advances. . The difference is that artists have found themselves in a growing lever of globalization and its consequences – positive or negative; staying close to originality was a matter of survival, whatever the reception of the academy and the listeners.

As the sonic narratives fell into uniformity, the two realized that they would have no problem honoring their big influences, such as Nile Rodgers and Giorgio Moroder, and creating a party pastiche for the cons. -cultures from the 1970s and 1980s. hard to put your artistic inflections on one label, as the styles of the tracks vary from acid house to funk – as well as the extensive incorporation of samples. Formic lyricism has given way to instrumental verbiage and a sort of deconstructed and resigned readymade in different contexts, such as the cyclical “Around the World” and the electro-disc “One More Time”. Inspired by the plasticity of cyber-punk, Daft Punk aimed for a poignant and memorable statement, as seen in the classic “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” and in the one-dimensionality of “Technologic”.

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Fame overseas reached an even higher level when the duo were hired by Walt Disney Studios to be responsible for the soundtrack for the film ‘Tron: The Legacy‘, released in 2010. Combining orchestral elements with the electronic, the result is similar to the works of the artists’ previous performances and, at the same time, demonstrates a radical change from what they have presented to us in the past – and which would even influence the enormous’ Random Access Memories’ ‘, considered by countless experts as the best album of their career (whose success is reflected in several Grammy statuettes, including one of the album of the year). By partnering up with names like The Weeknd and Pharrell Williams, Daft Punk has proven to fit in the most unexpected ways with subcultures and the mainstream.

One of the duo’s greatest contributions to music has been the continued advocacy of creative freedom. As Bangalter commented in an interview with Yahoo in 2007, “We live in a society where money is what people want, so they don’t have control. We choose. Control is freedom. […] Control is controlling one’s destiny without controlling others ”. And it is this artistic bias that ultimately made it the ultimate representation of the past, present and future.

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