Review #170: (Classic Album) Daft Punk – Discovery

Artist – Daft Punk
Album – Discovery (2001)

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Daft Punk are an electronic duo Paris, France. The duo consists of members Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter, whom originally met in the rock band ‘Darlin’ before leaving to experiment with programmed drums and synths. Daft Punk released their debut ‘Homework’ in 1997, of which gained critical success, however it wasn’t until the explosive critical and mainstream success of their follow up ‘Discovery’ that Daft Punk would be seen as a headline act around the world. Daft Punk have always been known as a musically fantastic live act, remixing and combining their music live, but they also introduced to festival audiences how visually spectacular electronic acts can be, with their legendary set at Coachella 2009. Daft Punk have gone from strength to strength in their career, most recently destroying the mainstream charts with their album ‘Random Access Memories’ and the super hit ‘Get Lucky’.

Before focusing on the music of ‘Discovery’ there needs to be a mention of the fantastic theme and artwork centred around the album’s music videos. The videos are actually a collaboration between Daft Punk and Toei Animation, of which they created a film that uses ‘Discovery’ as it’s soundtrack, those music videos being part of the film. The animation drifts more towards the fun child like anime style, with a focus on sci-fi, depicting a future setting, but mixed with the style of 70s disco which Daft Punk calls upon in their music. Now onto the music, which actually despite its now universally loved sound was hugely disliked by hardcore Daft Punk fans. The duo’s original sound was quite a bit grittier, but as with any artist that includes softer, more pop influenced elements into their music and therefore gains popularity, they would be dismissed by the ‘elitist’, the ones that feel they own the band. The change came in the form of a moulding between their French house sound and disco influences, incorporating a now signature autotuned vocal sound along with memorable hooks. ‘Discovery’ features the majority of Daft Punk’s most popular tracks, from the album’s intro ‘One More Time’ to the funk-rock sound of ‘Aerodynamic’ to the Kanye West sampled ‘Harder Better Faster Stronger’, all with one thing in common, being as catchy and memorable as electronic music comes. Key to Discovery’s sound is Daft Punk’s unique spin on the funk guitar style, taking those rhythmic patterns and broken chords and incorporating them on high-pitched wah ridden synths, to steer it closer to their electronic basis. Some put ‘Discovery’ under the concept album category, whether it is that or just a collection of great songs it flows beautifully together, an album that has to be played for its entirety every time.

‘Discovery’ is a staple in not just the house music genre, but electronic music as a whole. The sound Daft Punk created called back on the old whilst evolving at the same time and creating something new, a sound now that many artists have strived to replicate.

One thought on “Review #170: (Classic Album) Daft Punk – Discovery

  1. Pingback: My Top 10 Favourite Electronic Albums | Sketchy Record Reviews

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