Daft Punk

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Daft Punk
Daft Punk in one of their live shows.
Daft Punk in one of their live shows.
Background information
OriginParis, France
Years active1993–2021
LabelsSoma Quality Recordings (1993-1996), Daft Life, Virgin Records (1996-2012), Columbia Records (2013-present)
Past member(s)Thomas Bangalter
Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo

Daft Punk are a former electronic music duo from France. There are two people in the band, Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo (born February 8, 1974) and Thomas Bangalter (born January 3, 1975). Daft Punk uses analog synthesizers and other real instruments to make their music. On 22 February 2021 they released the video "Epilogue" that announced the end of Daft Punk as a group.[1]

History[change | change source]

How the members met, Darlin' era and Soma Quality Recordings[change | change source]

Both of the two Daft Punk members went to the same school in Paris. They became friends and recorded a demo track with other students from the school. Thomas Bangalter played bass while Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo played guitar.

They formed a band called Darlin' which featured an additional member named Laurent Brancowitz.

The Darlin' experience did not last very long and after a show they performed in the United Kingdom, a newspaper qualified the music of Thomas and Guy-Manuel as "daft punk" (silly punk music).

Thomas and Guy-Manuel were amused by this nickname and officially adopted it, and that's how they became the well known Daft Punk.[source?]

Laurent left the group and joined his younger brother Christian Mazzalai of Phoenix.

While attending a rave at Eurodisney, they met Scottish house/techno artists Stuart MacMillan and Orde Meikle of Slam who signed them up to the label Soma Quality Recordings based in Glasgow.

Daft Punk recorded their first demo called, "The New Wave" as well as a handful of others including, "Alive" and "Da Funk" both of which would appear in their debut album a few years later.

First Album: Homework[change | change source]

In 1995, Daft Punk began to record in the studio a song called Da Funk which became their first commercial success. After that success, Daft Punk looked for a manager, and they chose Pedro Winter who is also known by the name Busy P.

The idea of Homework debuted when Daft Punk signed with Virgin Records.

That album became one of the most essential house albums of the nineties after that it had been released in 1997.

Second Album: Discovery[change | change source]

In 1999, Daft Punk returned to recording studio to work on Discovery which would be their second album and their second success. Discovery reached the second place on the UK Charts. One More Time, their first single from Discovery, became a giant hit around the globe and Daft Punk became one of the most famous electronic music groups.

Daft Punk used many samples (little sounds from other songs) to compose songs like Face to Face, Too Long and Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger. (Kanye West's 2007 song Stronger from the album Graduation uses a large sample from Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger.)

In 2003, Daft Punk released the full-length animated movie Interstella 5555. The band worked with the Japanese animation company Toei Animation and the famous Japanese producer named Leiji Matsumoto to create this film. It is a fully animated story that is set to the Discovery album from start to finish and with no additional words and only a few added sound effects.

Third Album: Human After All[change | change source]

In 2004, Daft Punk spent six weeks on their third album. Human After All was a subject of controversy, concerning some aggressive aspects in songs like Technologic, saying that most of the songs were too repetitive.

De Homem-Christo and Bangalter only said: "We believe that Human After All speaks for itself".

In 2006, Daft Punk released "Electroma", a short film about two robots (Daft Punk themselves) who are on a journey to become human. The film however, did not feature any music by Daft Punk but instead a selection of songs by other artists of different types of music genres.

Daft Punk went on their second world tour, "Alive 2006/2007". The duo played worldwide to thousands of people. Daft Punk played in a pyramid on stage which was admired for its futuristic design.

In 2008, Daft Punk made their first televised performance at the 2008 Grammy Awards. They performed with Kanye West as he rapped, "Stronger".

Tron: Legacy[change | change source]

In 2010, Daft Punk were chosen to compose the soundtrack to Tron: Legacy. The duo had a cameo in the film.

Fourth Album: Random Access Memories[change | change source]

In 2013, Daft Punk released their final album Random Access Memories. Columbia Records became their new label after many years with Virgin Records.

They collaborated with Giorgio Moroder, Todd Edwards, Nile Rodgers, Panda Bear, Chilly Gonzales, DJ Falcon, Julian Casablancas, Paul Williams and Pharrell Williams.

Random Access Memories had very little electronic music in it. Instead, Daft Punk used live instruments and minimized the use of synthesizers. It is a tribute to the disco, rock and funk music of the 1970s and 1980s.

The lead single Get Lucky, featuring Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers, was met with critical acclaim and topped many charts around the world. At the 2014 Grammy Awards Get Lucky won Record of the Year and RAM won Album of the Year.

In 2015, a documentary called "Daft Punk: Unchained" was released. It told the history of the band from their beginnings in the early 1990s to the 2014 Grammy Awards.

Final projects[change | change source]

In 2017, Daft Punk collaborated with The Weeknd in the singles "Starboy" and "I Feel It Coming". They performed both songs at the 2017 Grammy Awards. It was their final performance together.

In 2021, they announced their breakup via YouTube.

References[change | change source]

  1. Kyriazis, Stefan (22 February 2021). "Daft Punk announce split and release Epilogue farewell video - Why did Daft Punk split?". Express.co.uk.