Daft Punk

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Posted by r2d2 03/11/2009 @ 04:16

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I'm thinking that I can reasonably excuse a Daft Punk post every weekend from now on. I'm not a massive fan of the band or anything, but if opportunities pop up two weekends in a row I say that that is a sign. Daft Punk for Dtoid!...
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Their remix of 'New Young Pony Club – The Bomb” was featured all over pitchfork, and there remixes of “Daft Punk – Around the world” and “Hot Chips – Ready For The Floor” with LA Riots both hit #1 on the Hypem charts. And their recent official remixes...
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To the sound of Daft Punk and starring Coolio. Last autumn I spent a sobering day at the World Water Congress, held here in Vienna. I learned about how, in the shadow of global warming, parts of the ancient wetlands of Australia are being reduced to...

Daft Punk

Daft Punk performing at the 2006 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival

Daft Punk is an electronic music duo consisting of French musicians Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo (born February 8, 1974) and Thomas Bangalter (born January 3, 1975). After Daft Punk reached significant popularity in the late 1990s house movement in France, other artists such as Air, Cassius, and Dimitri from Paris began to receive a similar amount of attention.

Daft Punk is also credited with producing songs that were considered essential in the French house scene. They were managed from 1996 to 2008 by Pedro Winter (Busy P), the head of Ed Banger Records.

Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo met in 1987 on the grounds of the Lycée Carnot, a secondary school in Paris. The two became good friends and later recorded demo tracks with others from the school. This eventually led to the formation of the guitar-based group called Darlin' with Laurent Brancowitz in 1992. Bangalter and de Homem-Christo played bass and guitar, respectively, while Brancowitz performed on drums. 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. 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." A negative review in Melody Maker subsequently dubbed the music "a bunch of daft punk." Instead of dismissing the review, Bangalter and de Homem-Christo found it to be amusing. As the latter stated, "We struggled so long to find Darlin', and this happened so quickly." 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.

In 1993 Daft Punk attended a rave at EuroDisney, where they met Stuart Macmillan of Slam, co-founder of the label Soma Quality Recordings. 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. The single also contained the final mix of "The New Wave" called "Alive".

By 1999 the duo were well into the recording sessions for their second album, which had begun a year earlier. 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. 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 song is well known for being heavily auto-tuned and compressed. The song and album created a new generation of fans mainly familiar with the second Daft Punk release. 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. 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.

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.

On May 21, 2006, Daft Punk premiered their first directed film, Daft Punk's Electroma at the Cannes Film Festival sidebar Director's Fortnight. 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. 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. The album includes a 50-page book showcasing photographs shot while on tour. 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.

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. He stated in a later interview that the duo are working with an unspecified management company in Los Angeles. In 2008 Daft Punk also placed 38th in a worldwide official poll of DJ Magazine after debuting at position 71 in 2007. On February 8, 2009, Daft Punk won Grammy Awards for Alive 2007 and its single "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger".

On March 4, 2009, it was announced that Daft Punk is signed to write the score to the film TR2N.

Bangalter and de Homem-Christo have credited many sources that influenced their musical style. Years before producing electronic music as a duo, they were stated to have shared tastes for Elton John, MC5, The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys and The Stooges. Their mutual admiration for rock bands led to the founding of their own independent project, Darlin'. Bangalter expressed that "It was still maybe more a teenage thing at that time. It's like, you know, everybody wants to be in a band." They drew inspiration from the rock and acid house displayed in the United Kingdom during the early 1990s. De Homem-Christo pointed to Screamadelica by Primal Scream as an influential work, as the record "put everything together" in terms of genre.

Daft Punk are noted for their use of visual components associated with their musical productions. The music videos for their singles from Homework featured memorable characters and placed emphasis on storytelling instead of musical performance. The album Discovery subsequently became the soundtrack to Interstella 5555.

Their outward personae have also changed over time. During their Homework years, the duo would usually wear masks to hide their appearance. When not wearing disguises, they occasionally preferred to be replaced by animation (as they appeared in The Work of Director Michel Gondry DVD) or have their faces digitally obscured for press kits. Very few official photos of the duo's faces exist, including a blurry one found in the Homework liner notes.

During a video interview shot in Japan, Daft Punk stated that they donned their robot masks to easily merge the characteristics of humans and machines. However, Bangalter later admitted that the costumes were initially the result of shyness. "But then it became exciting from the audiences' point of view. It's the idea of being an average guy with some kind of superpower." When asked on whether the duo expressed themselves differently within the robotic suits, Bangalter stated "No, we don't need to. It's not about having inhibitions. It's more like an advanced version of glam, where it's definitely not you." With the release of Human After All, the musical duo's outfits became slightly less complicated by consisting of dark leather jumpsuits and simplified versions of the Discovery head gear. The jumpsuits were designed by Hedi Slimane.

In the same interview, he was also asked a question if stardom can be avoided.

During the filming and promotion of Daft Punk's Electroma, the duo went to great lengths to avoid showing their faces. While on the set of the film, the duo chose to be interviewed with their backs turned. As reported on October 2006, the band went as far as to wear black cloth over their heads during a televised interview.

In the mid-to-late nineties, Daft Punk performed live without costumes in many places including the United States. In particular, a rare bootlegged video featuring the duo in Wisconsin matches the verified identity of Thomas Bangalter. Less clearly seen, Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo is to Bangalter's right and is mostly cut off from the camera. Comparing the artwork packaging of Homework to the video footage, one can verify that the album's liner note photo was taken during this event. In addition to live original performances, they performed a number of times in various clubs using vinyl records from their collection. They were known for incorporating various styles of music into their DJ sets.

In the fall of 1997 they did their Daftendirektour to promote Homework in several cities throughout the world. For this tour Daft Punk opted to utilize their home studio equipment for the live stage. As Bangalter stated, "Everything was synched up — the drum machines, the bass lines. The sequencer was just sending out the tempos and controlling the beats and bars. On top of this structure we built all these layers of samples and various parts that we could bring in whenever we wanted to." May 25, 1997 saw them perform at the Tribal Gathering festival at Luton Hoo, England, headlining with Orbital and Kraftwerk. Also of note is the November 8 performance in Birmingham, UK, from which came the recording of Alive 1997.

At the start of 2006, Daft Punk announced plans for a number of special summer shows. On April 29, Daft Punk performed at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival where they received a jubilant reception for their first U.S. performance since 1997. Thomas Bangalter had initially been reported as saying that there would be a DVD of their recent live set. He later emphasized his reluctance for such a release, as the duo felt that online amateur videos of their performances were more compelling than anything captured professionally. In an interview with the Miami Herald Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo stated that their November 11 appearance at the Bang Music Festival was their final for 2006 and that Daft Punk would conduct more performances in the future. The band later specified a date for a live show at Bercy, Paris for June 2007. Also reported were dates at the RockNess Festival and Wireless Festival in June, the Oxegen festival in July and Lollapalooza in August. Daft Punk then announced a world tour called Alive 2007.

Daft Punk played at the RockNess Festival by the banks of Loch Ness, Scotland on June 10, 2007 as the headline act in the 10,000 capacity Clash tent. To the crowds displeasure, the show was delayed, but the crowd gave the duo a jubilant welcome when they appeared. Due to popularity, part of the tent was removed to allow thousands of people outside to see the show. On June 16, 2007 Daft Punk successfully headlined the third day of the O2 Wireless Festival to positive reaction and reviews. The Times described the set as a "memorable sensory spectacle, both dazzling and deafening" and ThisisLondon declared it "an almost faultless set of relentless electro euphoria".

Daft Punk headlined Stage 2/NME Stage at the Oxegen music festival on July 8, 2007. Their live set was preceded by a showing of the trailer for the film Daft Punk's Electroma. Subsequent reports stated that the Daft Punk appearance was the highlight of the festival. NME expressed that the performance was "a robotic spectacular", while Shoutmouth described the set as "typically triumphant". Four days later, the duo played at Traffic Torino Free Festival in Parco della Pellerina in Turin, Italy.

Daft Punk headlined the AT&T stage on August 3, 2007, the first night of the Lollapalooza music festival in Chicago. Their show there was praised by Pitchfork Media stating that the experience of watching the performance "was a much-needed reminder of the still-potent power of communicative pop." On August 5 they performed at the International Center in Toronto followed by an August 9 performance at KeySpan Park in Brooklyn, New York.

Daft Punk composed the music for the Louis Vuitton Spring/Summer 2008 Womenswear Full Show on October 7, 2007. The duo also headlined the Vegoose festival in Las Vegas on October 27. They appeared at the festival along with bands Rage Against the Machine, Muse and Queens of the Stone Age. At the end of the month, Daft Punk performed in Mexico City. The duo also performed on Friday November 2, 2007 at the Arena Monterrey in Monterrey, Mexico and Guadalajara.

Modular announced that Daft Punk would appear in Australia for an event in December 2007 called Never Ever Land. The announcement addressed years of speculation on whether Daft Punk would visit Australia for live performances. Daft Punk were supported by their regular acts SebastiAn and Kavinsky at the appearances, which had been announced as an extension to the Alive 2007 tour. Never Ever Land toured to Melbourne at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Perth at the Esplanade, Brisbane at the Riverstage and finally Sydney at the Sydney Showground Main Arena. A Triple J interview with Pedro Winter (Busy P) revealed that Daft Punk's Sydney appearance on December 22 would be their final show for 2007 and the last to feature the pyramid light scheme. Tickets for the Australian tour sold more quickly than for any Daft Punk-related event in their history. The duo stated in an EMI-sponsored live webchat that there will be no tour performances for 2008, and that they would instead focus on new projects.

Daft Punk made a surprise appearance at the 50th Grammy Awards on February 10, 2008. The duo appeared with Kanye West to perform a reworked version of "Stronger" on stage at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. For the appearance, Daft Punk utilized four JazzMutant Lemur controllers. A press release specified that this was the first televised live performance by the duo in their career. Bangalter's wife Élodie Bouchez also attended the event.

In February 2009, a website stated that a "hidden" tour had been set for 2009. An event for February 13, 2009 in Shanghai, China was mentioned in the website. It was later revealed to be a hoax unaffiliated with Daft Punk and a scam to sell tickets for a nonexistent event. Representatives of the band announced that Daft Punk have no tour plans for 2009, but stated that the duo is looking forward to performing in China during their next world tour "in 2010 or 2011". The announcement also stated that all of Daft Punk's shows are and will be posted on their official MySpace page, and that the page can therefore be used to verify validity.

The Grammy Awards are awarded annually by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States. Daft Punk has received seven nominations and two awards.

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Daft Punk's Electroma

Daft Punk's Electroma is a film by French duo Daft Punk. The plot revolves around the quest of two robots (the band members, played by Peter Hurteau and Michael Reich) to become human. The music featured in this film is not by Daft Punk. This is a first for the duo considering their previous film and home video releases, D.A.F.T. and Interstella 5555. While initially receiving mixed reviews, theatrical screenings of the film have since been well received.

The two lead characters, credited as "Hero Robot No. 1" and "Hero Robot No. 2", appear as the robotic forms of Daft Punk. An opening scene shows the duo driving in a 1987 Ferrari 412 with its license plate displaying "HUMAN". After passing through a Southwestern United States landscape, the duo arrives by car at a town in Inyo County, California. The town's denizens are also shown to be robots physically identical to the two main characters, but at different ages, with different clothing and alternating gender.

Robot No. 1 and Robot No. 2 drive to a high-tech facility where liquid latex is poured over their heads. The latex is shaped into human-like faces with the aid of prosthetic appliances and wigs. When the two leave the facility, the locals of the town are shocked by their new appearance. While they are chased by the other robots, the duo's faces melt in the sun. The two take cover in a public restroom and discard the ruined masks. The pair then undergo a lengthy hike across desert salt flats.

After walking for a while, Robot No. 1 gives up. He removes his jacket and reveals a set of buttons on his back. Robot No. 2 operates them and starts a countdown. When the countdown ends, Robot No. 1 is blown to pieces. The remaining robot continues to walk but eventually also gives up. He falls to his knees and tries to reach the buttons on his own back, but to no avail. Instead, he removes his helmet and reveals a printed circuit board face. He repeatedly slams the helmet onto the ground until it is shattered. Using one of the shards as a burning-glass, he focuses the sunlight to set his hand ablaze. The film ends showing the robot, completely on fire, walking in slow motion through darkness.

Daft Punk's previous directorial credits include the music videos for their singles "Fresh", "Robot Rock" and "Technologic". The duo initially shot footage for a music video of the song "Human After All", but expanded the content for a feature-length film instead. According to Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, Daft Punk's Electroma had been an unplanned extension of filming videos for the Human After All album.

The film was shot on 35 mm Kodak stock under the cinematography of Bangalter. He purchased and read over 200 back-issues of American Cinematographer in preparation for the feature-length picture. Filming of Daft Punk's Electroma spanned 11 days, much of which was spent in California.

While D.A.F.T. - A Story About Dogs, Androids, Firemen and Tomatoes and Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem were produced to complement the albums Homework and Discovery, the soundtrack for Daft Punk's Electroma does not feature material by Daft Punk. As stated by de Homem-Christo, "We come from a musical background, but this movie is quite minimal." The music in the film includes works by Todd Rundgren, Brian Eno, Sébastien Tellier, Curtis Mayfield, Linda Perhacs, Jackson C. Frank and Mathieu Tonetti.

The film was first shown on May 21, 2006 as part of the Cannes Film Festival sidebar Director's Fortnight. Midnight screenings of Daft Punk's Electroma were shown in Paris theaters from the end of March 2007. The film was also screened at Biennale de Montréal in Canada on May 11. It was shown in the Australian Centre for the Moving Image on June 7, at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London on June 8 and at Kino Arsenal in Berlin on July 4, 2007. The film went on a screening tour of the United Kingdom, beginning in July 2007 and ending in October at the BBC Electric Proms. The ICA later announced a few late night weekend screenings for November 2007, but based on turnout and interest, extended the screenings to continue until January 2008. In December 2007, the film was shown in Seattle, New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Austin as part of a tour of independent film screenings sponsored by the Scion line of Toyota cars. Vice Records sponsored Canadian midnight showings on December 7 in Victoria, Banff, Calgary, Winnipeg, Fort McMurray and Toronto. Further showings in Canada were screened during January 2008 in Toronto, Ottawa and Whitehorse.

The DVD-Video of the film was first released in Australia on June 6, 2007. It is distributed by Aztec International Entertainment and rated G by the OFLC. According to the official Daft Punk's Electroma website, it is available in the UK as of November 19, 2007. Vice Records set the North American release date on DVD and Blu-ray Disc for July 22, 2008. The disc is packaged with a 40-page book of film images in a SteelBook case. As of the release date, only the DVD edition of the film is available. The film became available for online viewing on the Lycos Cinema platform as a rental streamed at either standard or high definition. It is also available for online rental or purchase at the iTunes Store.

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Daft Punk discography

The discography of Daft Punk, a French house duo, consists of three studio albums, two live albums, two remix albums, one compilation album, fourteen singles and sixteen music videos. Paris-born musicians Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter met in 1987, as they both attended the same school. Their first release as Daft Punk was the single "The New Wave" in 1994 on the Soma Quality Recordings label. The duo signed with Virgin Records in 1996 and continued to work on tracks for their debut album Homework, released in 1997.

Their second album, Discovery, was released in 2001. Production was simultaneously underway for Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem, an animated film featuring the album as its soundtrack. Daft Punk collaborated with Leiji Matsumoto, who served as visual supervisor. Later in 2001 the duo released the live album Alive 1997.

The duo's third studio album, Human After All, was released in 2005. Daft Punk subsequently focused on directing music videos for the album. Material shot for an eventually canceled video was reworked and expanded to create the feature film Daft Punk's Electroma. The film made its debut screening in 2006. During the same year, the Daft Punk anthology Musique Vol. 1 1993–2005 was released. In the summer of 2006 the duo performed a well-received live set followed by a series of shows that eventually led to a worldwide tour in 2007. A recording from one of the performances was released as the album Alive 2007.

As of 2008 the duo has sold more than 4,105,000 albums worldwide.

These songs have been remixed by Daft Punk.

Note: Although marketed and broadcast on television as music videos, the Discovery videos were actually clips from Interstella 5555, an anime film produced as a visual component to the album. It could be said, then, that all the songs from Discovery were made into videos, but only the six listed above were released as promotional videos.

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Around the World (Daft Punk song)

“Around the World” cover

The key hook is a steady bassline and a vocoder-processed voice singing "around the world" in continuous chains. The phrase occurs 144 times in the album version and 80 times in the radio edit.

Upon analysis of the song, Michel Gondry noted its distinctive structure: "I realized how genius and simple the music was. Only five different instruments, with very few patterns, each to create numerous possibilities of figures. Always using the repetition, and stopping just before it's too much." He also noted the similarity between the bassline of "Around the World" and that of the Chic song "Good Times".

A cover version of "Around the World" was released in 2006 as "Around the World Again" by Nicky Van She and Dangerous Dan. A remix of the will.i.am song "I Got It from My Mama" included a sample from "Around the World." Daft Punk failed to approve use of the sample and refused will.i.am permission to release the remix. A music video was produced with the sample included, however. A song titled "Around the World" was released by rapper P.M. that contains a sample of "Around the World". Señor Coconut released a cover of "Around the World" on his 2008 album, Atom™ presents: Around the World with Señor Coconut and his Orchestra.

Michel Gondry's music video for the song features robots walking around in a circle on a platform (which represents a vinyl record), tall athletes (as described by Gondry) wearing tracksuits with small prosthetic heads walking up and down stairs, women dressed like synchronized swimmers (described by Gondry as "disco girls") moving up and down another set of stairs, skeletons dancing in the center of the "record," and mummies dancing in time with the song's drum pattern.

This is meant to be a visual representation of the song; each element in the video represents a different instrument. According to Gondry's notes, the androids represent the singing robot voice; the physicality and small-minded rapidity of the athletes symbolizes the ascending/descending bass guitar; the femininity of the disco girls represents the high-pitched keyboard; the "itchy" skeletons serve for the guitars; the mummies represent the drum machine.

Elements of the music video appear in the video for the LCD Soundsystem song "Daft Punk Is Playing at My House". The overall design has also been replicated for the Freemasons' "Rain Down Love" video.

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Source : Wikipedia