the other me might even be better than this one

From Daft Punk to Daft Punk

February 21, 2021 — Gideon Mayhak


For no particular reason other than I like the way it breaks up the artist groupings in my collection, we start the Ds with a single band (duo? group?). This is also a feeble attempt at posting more regularly by covering fewer albums at a time.

The Ds, part 1

Daft Punk

I first fell in love with Daft Punk at the turn of the century shortly after the release of Discovery. This was a time of anime and music videos for me, so it should come as no surprise that their latest showing on MTV captured my full attention. The music was catchy (in a way I didn't fully understand at the time), and the videos told a story with an art style I was in love with.

Around the same time, I was spending more and more of my waking hours on the Internet. This made it easy to listen to their earlier hits, and I played "Around the World"--from their debut, Homework--to death. I even have an old MPEG-1 copy of the music video on my hard drive from July of 2003. During this time, I was mostly focused on the hits and it wouldn't be until years later that I decided to buy their CDs.

I went through a period where I felt a little silly liking Daft Punk. I got it into my head that a) their music was like disco and b) disco sucked. Thankfully, I grew out of that and proceeded to buy up their albums. The earliest online order history I can find shows I purchased Human After All and Alive 2007 in 2008, but I think I bought the aforementioned Homework and Discovery locally sometime prior.

As time went on, I picked up Alive 1997 and then started following their releases a little more closely. TRON: Legacy entered the collection a few months after seeing the movie, and I picked up Random Access Memories as soon as it came out.

Daft Punk's music is, of course, not disco, but I'll let other people list the genres they might fall under. (And frankly, I've grown to like disco music.) To me, their creative use of drum machines, samples, live instruments, and more over the years puts them in their own category. I tend to think of some other artists as "like Daft Punk" if I make any comparison at all. You can definitely hear the influence from disco, funk, etc. You can also hear how they've influenced so many other artists.

"Rollin' & Scratchin'" was a favorite to play at the bowling alley. Good bang for the buck, and hopefully annoying to those who would otherwise play pop country. "Alive 1997" is a single long take from one of their live shows that flows perfectly from one part to the next. There are too many classics to list from Discovery.

It hasn't always been love at first listen for me: Human After All did take a few plays before I was able to fully enjoy the album. It's harsher, more mechanical. And yet, "Make Love" and "Emotion" were particular favorites to play when driving on winding country roads in the fall in Wisconsin. "Robot Rock" is a banger, and "Technologic" alone is worth the price of admission.

Alive 2007 helped me appreciate Human, and my main introduction to 2007 was in the car of a classmate and coworker who was kind enough to give me rides to school. He had a decent stereo and a penchant for blasting pieces of the album whenever we'd hit the road. What a way to wake up on cold winter mornings! I can credit Jacob directly with why I got Human and 2007 when I did.

Scoring TRON: Legacy was certainly a change for the duo, but it shows their creativity on a different level. I went to see the movie at a theater with Alex and some others on a particularly cold winter night. I remember we had to drive up to Cedar Creek Cinema in Rothschild, WI, to see it. A good movie with an even better soundtrack. "Derezzed" is a favorite of mine to play when trying out new speakers or headphones.

What can I say about Random Access Memories? It's an award-winning album, and I believe it deserves every single one. Once again they show their creative depth by working with other incredible musicians and more vintage synths than ever before. In spite of past album titles, this one is their most human. "Giorgio by Moroder" is another speaker/headphone test track.

With each new outing, Daft Punk makes me all the more excited to hear what they come up with next. It's been quite a few years since RAM, so I hope it won't be too long before they release another album. In the meantime, these moments will shine.



Again, in a litte while...

The next few letters of the alphabet have an eclectic mix of bands and solo artists where I only have one or a few albums each. That should mean I'll write less about each one and get posts up quicker. Yeah, that's the ticket.

"For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, even as I was also fully known."

1 Corinthians 13:12, WEB

Tags: cd-listening, music