Daft Punk HHV Records 17 Items
The illustrations present a galaxy of rare and iconic images from the world’s leading photographers. Fans will love iconic images from album covers and performances, of Bowie wearing outrageous outfits and surrealist makeup from across the decades. These are combined with more intimate, behind-the-scenes images that reveal the musician at work. Written by acclaimed music critic Paolo Hewitt, the text assesses the writing and recording of each release, and reflects on their impact and influence on the art of popular music. Featuring a discography of studio albums, live albums, notable compilations and soundtracks, this is the essential companion to David Bowie’s legendary achievements.
The Robots of French House
What distinguished Daft Punk from the other acts that rose from French House into the international mainstream in the mid-90s is a kind of synthesis of the arts: on the one hand, house music with hints of hip-hop and funk, and on the other, futuristic visual elements, above all their famous robot masks that disguised the faces of the Parisian duo of Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter. The band that was never seen unmasked didn’t decide on the masks themselves, said Bangalter, because their sampler exploded in the studio – and when they woke up again, they were robots. Founded in 1993, the duo emerged from a short-lived rock band that Melody Maker harshly called “daft punky trash” in a review – inspiring the two to take up synthesizers and samplers for their new project and record their first tracks as Daft Punk. Their acid house single Da Funk earned them hype in the scene in 1995, and in their search for a label they then joined Universal offshoot Virgin, playing regular DJ sets in Paris and soon in the U.S. for the first time. With songs like their dance hit Around the World, they soon celebrated success. Recorded entirely within their own four walls, Homework, the duo’s first long-player, was released in 1997 – and it hit like a bomb. The vinyl climbed to number three in the charts, soon became a French house classic and at the same time drew international attention to the scene, from which acts such as Bob Sinclar and Modjo later emerged.
Club hits for the cultural memory
From the beginning, Daft Punk were fundamentally interested in the visual, and a series of original music videos for the tracks from the Homework album appeared as a video release under the title D.A.F.T.: A Story About Dogs, Androids, Firemen and Tomatoes. At this point, Bangalter and de Homem-Christo were still sitting in interviews with bags over their heads. For their follow-up record Discovery in 2001, they put on their robot helmets for the first time and conquered clubs all over the world with the number one single One More Time – the duo also incorporated R&B influences and created another diverse disco album that turned out to be even more successful than the debut. With danceable tracks like Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger, Daft Punk produced a number of works that are now anchored in the cultural memory of many. With the animated sci-fi musical Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5system, the band also created an artful accompanying film to their vinyl in cooperation with manga artist Leiji Matsumoto in 2003. Their third record was released in 2005 under the title Human After All and, loosely inspired by George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984, formed a kind of concept album that discussed the relationship between humans and technology. The band didn‘t give interviews, focusing instead on their artistic vision and soon swinging into the director’s chair themselves for their music videos.
In search of humanity
With Daft Punk’s Electroma, the duo brought a specially produced avant-garde film to the cinema in 2006 that depicted two robots in search of humanity. This time, the duo didn’t compose anything for the film themselves – the work was meant to stand apart from their music. Two years later, however, Daft Punk gladly accepted the soundtrack commission for the blockbuster Tron: Legacy and contributed a mixture of string compositions and synthesizer sounds. With Pharrell Williams on the microphone, they landed the worldwide hit Get Lucky in 2013, which soon became the most streamed song on Spotify at the time – the following album Random Access Memories became a massive success with its more organic sound this time, and the duo received five Grammy Awards that year. In 2016, they helped The Weeknd to several hit singles – Bangalter and de Homem-Christo stretched their arms in all directions to work as producers. Then in 2021 they suddenly announced their separation, but did not give a reason for the end of Daft Punk.