Thomas Bengalter and Guy-Manuel De Homem-Christo, AKA “Daft Punk” are at it again with their newest album “Random Access Memories.” The duo brings disco-tech to an all new level, this time bringing in artists from all forms of the musical arts to participate in the development of their diverse album. Among those involved are the “King of Funk” himself, Nile Rodgers, along with R&B legend Pharrell Williams, who both co-authored the now number one track on UK charts “Get Lucky.” Bengalter and Homem-Christo, famous for their “Out of this world” robotic characters, rarely show their faces in their work, and have managed to remain low key despite their enormous fame, and much of their past remains a mystery to many for this very reason. The album is set to be released May 21st, and much of the content, including interviews with the collaborators, and some tracks, such as “Get Lucky”, have spread across the internet like wildfire.
Daft Punk has changed the game this time by signing with Columbia Records to publish their new album, a definite change of events considering their long history with Virgin Records. Daft Punks newest album shows their work to have become a lot more organic in nature as compared to their older albums which were heavily based on electronica and synthesis. They managed to meet an excellent balance of synthesis to organic sound with their new album, and it’s likely it will be their most successful work to have been published yet. Bringing Nile Rodgers into the mix was a good call on their part! Daft Punk is widely known for its use of samples from albums produced during the 1970’s and 1980’s respectively.
Here’s the "Obenhaus" remix of their latest hit track "Get Lucky":
Check out the Vanderway Remix of "Get Lucky":
Check out their original music video "Get Lucky":
Sorry, you will have to watch this one on YouTube due to rights restrictions.
At present there are thousands of remixes of Daft Punks number one track “Get Lucky” already floating around the web. The Official music video features Bengalter playing the Bass, Homem-Christo playing the drums, Nile Rodgers on the guitar playing the leading chords, and William Pharrell brings it home with his iconic voice as shown below:
Random Access Memories Track List:
1.“Give Life Back to Music” Ft. Nile Rodgers
2.“The Game of Love”
3.“Giorgio By Moroder”
4.“Within” Ft. Chilly Gonzales
5.“Instant Crush” Ft. Julian Casablancas
6.“Lose Yourself to Dance” Ft. Nile Rodgers and Pharrell Williams
7.“Touch” Ft. Paul Williams
8.“Get Lucky” Ft. Nile Rodgers and Pharrell Williams
11.“Fragments of Time” Ft. Todd Edwards
12.“Doin’ it Right” Ft. Panda Bear
13.“Contact” Ft. DJ Falcon!
The legendary king of funk is a New York native, who along with Bassist Bernard Edwards, formed the band CHIC back in 1977 which brought them both to fame. Ironically, their original band name was “Big Apple Band”, in which they were actually forced to change their name after finding out that another artist, Walter Murphey had already recorded a hit record using this name. So CHIC was born! Nile Evolved his Disco Funk from the jazz fusion era in which he was born, into providing leading roles in albums with David Bowie, The Channels, and Madonna, among many others. Nile along with Daft Punk have truly brought forth the rebirth of a new era of Disco-Tech. You may remember his 1980’s hit “Le Freak.”
Rodgers and Edwards are also famously known for their production of Diana Ross’s greatest album ever “Diana”, produced back in 1980, which featured the hit tracks “Upside Down” and “I’m Coming Out.”
Here’s the interview with Nile Rodgers “Random Access Memories - The Collaborators”:
The eight time Grammy award winning singer and song writer worked as a major contributor to Daft Punks new album. He is well known for his band N.E.R.D, in which he formed with his friends Shay Haley and Chad Hugo. Williams is a co-founder of the clothing line “Billionaire Boys Club”, and is also known for his R&B group “The Neptunes”, for which he originally formed with Hugo back in the early 1990’s.
Here’s the interview with Pharrell Williams “Random Access Memories – The Collaborators”:
More on the History of Daft Punk
Daft Punk – The Beginning:
Born Jan 3rd 1975 in Paris France, Thomas Bengalter originally started out playing the piano as a child. As a teenager Thomas met Guy Manuel De Homem-Christo while attending the prestigious secondary school “Lycee Carnot” In Paris. They together with Laurent Brancowitz formed the band “Darlin”, which by any means was not a hit. In fact, their music was once referred to by Melody Maker Magazine as being “Daft Punk”, in which “Daft” literally meant “silly, stupid, or of foolishness.” Instead of being inflamed by the magazines mockery of their work, they instead adopted the name for their new group after splitting with Brancowitz. So the name meaning “Silly punk rock” wasn’t so bad after all.
It was a chance encounter during a rave party at EuroDisney for which they happened to meet Stuart Macmillan, one of the co-founders of “Soma Quality Recordings” that brought about the beginning of their rise to fame. It was during this encounter in 1993 in which they had presented Macmillan with a demo tape called “The New Wave”, which was later released as “Alive” in 1994. But it was in 1995 that they managed to achieve their first commercial success with the hit single “Da Funk.”
The overwhelming success of “Da Funk” later paved the way in 1997 to the construction of their album “Homework” that they managed to achieve the first commercial success of a fully fledged album. Most of the content they produced during this time period consisted of mostly sample based tracks. With the help of their newly found manager “Pedro Winter”, they signed to license the use of their work with Virgin Records. Daft Punk originally turned down several record labels as they didn’t want to sell the rights to their work, but instead license its use to others, in order to protect themselves and their content. Virgin was the only label willing to meet their demands, effectively allowing them to retain ultimate control over their work. Bengalter stressed early on how important it was for them to retain the rights to their music, and Virgin Records acted more as a partner in publishing, a true benefit compared to other labels who wanted to control the rights to their artists published work.
The success of their album “Homework” came from mainly one track “Around the World”, which was an instant success in the U.S and Europe alike. The track was heavily played by radio stations spanning the majority of North America at the time. Surprisingly, the album was produced in Bengalter’s bedroom, which formed part of the reasoning behind the albums name. Following the release of the Homework Album, Bengalter produced his own record label “Roule” in 1998, in which he produced the hit single “The Music Sounds Better with you” on the album “Stardust”, Featuring Benjamin Diamond leading the vocals, and Alan Braxe & Bengalter creating the mixed track. The album was an instant success, and was heavily played by rave based DJ’s in the U.S at the time. As with previous recordings, Bengalter produced the track mainly from his home studio.
However there were some disputes between Jane Fonda and Daft Punk regarding their Stardust album since it included a sampled track from one of her workout videos. However the dispute was eventually resolved, and the album was published. Stardust remains today as a keynote to the success of Daft Punk in gaining notoriety within the music industry.
Here’s a picture of the original Vinyl album “Tracks on Da Rocks”, one of Bengalter’s many solo works, originally released in 1995, and later re-released in 1998 under the same label as “Volume 2.”
In the late 90’s Daft Punk teamed up with American DJ Romanthony who created the vocals for their tracks “One More Time” and “Too Long”, which were released with their “Discovery” album in 2001. The hit single “One More Time” was originally released in 2000, ahead the full album. Discovery was the most successful album they’ve created to date.
Daft Punk’s following album “Human After All”, which was released in March of 2005 wasn’t so successful, as many critics complained the tracks were way too repetitive in nature. Despite many negative reviews, the track “Harder Better Faster Stronger” appeared to be quite popular in the U.S club scene at the time.
In April of 2006 Daft Punk released their CD/DVD combo labeled “Musique Vol . 1 1993 - 2005”, which included the videos for “Robot Rock” and “Prime Time of Your Life.”
Daft Punk on the Big Screen:
Daft Punk has not only produced and directed their own films, but has been actively involved in the production of music scores for dozens of Hollywood movies. They’ve even been involved in producing tracks and television commercials for the Gap, Cartoon Network, Sony Erricson, and Adidas, among many others.
In 1999 Daft Punk released their video collection entitled “D.A.F.T - A Story About Dogs, Androids, Firemen, and Tomatoes.” The videos featured six tracks from “Homework”, including the tracks “Around the world”, “Da Funk”, “Fresh”, “Burnin”, and “Revolution 909.” The title was derived based upon content contained in the videos themselves.
In 2003 Daft Punk released the animated film Interstella 5555 (The story of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem), which was produced under the direction of Anime producer Leiji Matsumoto. Following in 2006 they produced their first self directed film ever, “Electroma” at the Cannes Film Festival. This was a turning point for them, as they previously were known mainly for the creation of their music and not as film producers.
In 2007 they released “Alive 2007”, which included a number of tracks performed live during their 2007 tour. The live version of “Harder Better, Faster, Stronger” was later released as a single, in which live footage shot from their performance at Coney Island in New York was produced into a music video that featured additional footage shot by fans who attended the performance. The film was directed by Olivier Gondry. Daft Punk later went on to win a Grammy Award for the album. They also produced the score for the feature movie “Tron: Legacy” in 2007.
Daft Punk produced a number of tracks for video games throughout their history. They wrote eleven tracks for the Game “DJ Hero”, and a remix of the song “Human After All” was included in DJ Hero 2, and have had active involvement in the tracks produced for “Just Dance.”