Living with…Daft Punk…for a week

headphones

Inside my head

In the last few years I got out of the habit of wearing headphones for music.  Being a child of the original Sony walkman age I’ve always loved that feeling of music inisde my head.  It allowed you to walk around the world filling yourself with what you wanted.  I can have my own noise pollution.

And there have been moments of revelation.  I remember arriving in central London to the strains of a Mozart piano concerto that someone had taped for me and finding in that  moment real beauty in that music and everything around me.  It suddenly all made sense and that memory has stayed with me nearly 30 years on.

I remember camping holidays where I lay for hours in the night desparately trying to sleep while the rain hammered against the canvas.  Music inside my head helped me through and more.  Some nights it would be obscure German electronic music, other times obscure British electronic music and a few times this week’s companions, Daft Punk – slightly less obscure French electronic music.

I leave my ears open now to hear other people’s music pollution and I enjoy every minute.  I would miss one local shop playing Supertramp’s Breakfast In America album and the conversation that followed, I wonld miss the grotesque musical choices of our local Co-op.  I would miss someone playing Wagner in their car at ear-watering volumes.  I plan to start logging these on twitter with the tag #ihearmusic and see what strangeness transpires.

Daft Punk is playing in everyone’s house?

daft punk lego

Daft Punk Lego

I had such high expectations, always a foolish thing, for Daft Punk’s recent album Random Access Memories that why was I surprised when it disappointed.  Rave reviews, a busting number one single, what could possibly go wrong?  Well. I guess me and the music I suppose.

Firstly, let’s rewind briefly for those not familiar with Daft Punk.  In simple terms they’re a French dance group that have been around since the 90’s.  In more complex terms they love to hide their personae behind masks, disguises and cartoons to in theory let the music speak for itself.  But, in practise their whole hiding thing has become part of the music.  They have produced over the years a number of classic albums of which Disovery is my fave and more below…

So why the disappointment with RAM?  It’s not that it’s a bad album it just feels to me as if there are some sub-standard 70’s disco fillers in between some great tracks which rather distracts from their greatness.

The great moments are Giorgio by Moroder, running at an extensive 9 minutes with exclusive commentary by the great Giorgio himself.  This is currently loaded on mobile as a potential ringtone – an accolade shared with The Rolling Stones (Gimme Shelter), Depeche Mode (Enjoy the Silence) and current selected mobile tone OMD’s Enola Gay.

Touch is a mix of musical theatre meets camp disco, so that you feel like you’ve wandered on to the moment when Les Miserables bumps in to the Communards.  Not a naturally obvious pairing but worth a visit.

Then there’s Get Lucky their massive number one hit blaring from our radios while we wait for summer.  Apparently the most downloaded song in one day on Spotify this is pop brilliance and hitting every compilation within ten yards of you very soon.

And finally Doin’ it Right and Contact take us back to the classic robotic disco moves of Daft Punk’s heritage and an epic space-inspired rave – both songs are more the storming sound that we have grown to love and not the 70’s easy listening soul found elsewhere.

So RAM is definitely worth a dip in to, just pick your way carefully through the tracks.

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Les Classiques

To further explore Daft Punk take a journey of Discovery with these two classics.

Surely, Around The World one of the greatest dance videos?

Maqnifique.

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