Many recall the House & Techno craze of the 1990's with the same kind of detached, hazy feeling one would expect from a hangover. Sweaty dance clubs, the popular drug ecstasy, and overly repetitive beats are just a few of the... [more]
Many recall the House & Techno craze of the 1990's with the same kind of detached, hazy feeling one would expect from a hangover. Sweaty dance clubs, the popular drug ecstasy, and overly repetitive beats are just a few of the things associated with this musical phenomenon. An exception to this rule is the Parisian duo Daft Punk, one of the most enduringly popular electronic acts to come out of this era, who acheived both widespread and critical success during this time in their native France and abroad, going on to produce some of the best albms in electronic music history. They combine a love for many diverse stlistic elements with a visually stunning aesthetic sense; early influences range from the Beach Boys to The Rolling Stones, and the duo share a love of all things technological, including robots. This infatuation is deeply rooted in their music (see "Robot Rock," "Human after All," and "Technologic") as well as their public persona. At live concerts, they perform in head to toe flamboyant robot costumes and never break character. Fans often wonder what their faces actually look like, and it's hard to locate a picture of the pair before 1995. These outfits bridge the gap betwen human and robot, and in these troubled times, Daft Punk seems to beg the question: what really constitutes being a human anyway?
The music video for their song "Around the World," directed by Michel Gondry, illustrates this component of musical and visual harmony in their many endeavors. In this video, mummies, disco girls and skeletons each dance to the beat of a different instrument according to their respective costume, as flashing multi-colored lights shine on and off. Their decision to also use highly creative directors such as Spike Jonze and Roman Coppol for other videos shows their dedication to visual experience. Daft Punk has also embarked in various film projects, producing and starring in Electroma and Interstella 555. Determined to make every live show a spectacle, Daft Punk tries to create appropriate visual sensations of listening to their music when playing concerts. This is acheived through masterful lighting, always exactly synchronizing to the beat of the music. Listening to their layerd, intelligent music is pleasurable enough, but their ability to perfectly marry aural and visual perfection makes seeing them live an almost out-of-body experience.