One More Time – A Retrowave tribute to Daft Punk
One week ago, news of Daft Punk’s separation spread at lightspeed across the Internet, marking the end of a grand chapter in electronic music. Whereas the current music scene sees most artists withering into irrelevance beyond a three-year wait between releases, the sudden end of
One week ago, news of Daft Punk’s separation spread at lightspeed across the Internet, marking the end of a grand chapter in electronic music. Whereas the current music scene sees most artists withering into irrelevance beyond a three-year wait between releases, the sudden end of the French Duo’s career echoed with a worldwide downpour of homages, nearly eight years since the group’s last album.
Though their appearances have been fewer and further in-between as years have gone by, fervour and interest in the duo remained unwavering. From talks about an ‘Alive 2017’ live tour, a new album in 2021 to the most recent rumours about a possible appearance during The Weeknd’s Superbowl Halftime Show, not a year has gone by without some form of speculation about the French duo’s return.
To begin to describe Daft Punk’s impact would amount to enumerating several generations’ worth of musical evolution, from the French Touch movement to modern hip-hop. Needless to say, the debt owed by the Retrowave scene is immeasurable, outweighed only by the legacy the group will have left behind. With aching hearts and decades worth of cherished memories in our minds, NewRetroWave reached out to some colleagues and friends in the Retro scene to pay tribute and share their testimonials about what Daft Punk’s music means to them.
As for me, Daft Punk was one of my earliest and fondest childhood memories. In an age where vanity trumps substance, they are a reminder of all the miracles that music can achieve when fueled by passion and integrity. Having been shunned by French music executives too stubborn to dream, the duo has gone on to reach stratospheric heights that their naysayers still dream of even coming close to. More than mere commercial success, the story of Daft Punk is a musical tale unlike anything the world has ever seen, an intergalactic transmission of love and unity for the whole world to hear.
Favorite track : Something About Us.
To me, Daft punk were a huge influence on my music taste. Way back in the 90s before synthwave and even electroclash was popular they were doing retro (80s) inspired house music. They were a precursor for my musical tastes to come in the next 2 decades. With the Tron : Legacy soundtrack they really showed how versatile they can be making one of the best OSTs of all time.
Favorite track : Da funk
(Synthetix Sundays host)
To me, Daft Punk is the mother of all epic French Electronic music. I have admired Daft Punk for years and beyond, especially as a teenager when I was lost and didn’t know which musical direction I should be heading. Then Daft Punk came along and made my heart dance. Releasing timeless songs that will stand the test of time. What an inspiration! All songs are safely stored in my random access memory.
Favorite Track : Around The World
To me Daft Punk is an Electronic Force that shook the world.They really opened my ears to electronic music when I was younger. Sure, there were other electronic acts who were making music, but the Daft Punk sound really resonated deeply with me. Around the World was on constant repeat in my house that it would drive my parents mad! lol. They are a huge inspiration to many and ultimately have had a HUGE influence in music.Favorite Track : Around the WorldDJ Ten
(Artist, Founder of NewRetrowave & NRW Records)
I love the composer/director combo! I’m not a musician but I like to think that you kind of turn into one whenever you direct a film by guiding and influencing the work of the artist set with the task of composing the score.
With Daft Punk, I feel like these two worlds were intimately linked. You can obviously see it in their Interstella 5555 film that draws directly from their own repertoire, but this relationship also transpired through the robot personas that they portrayed in their music videos and in real life.
I think that the news of their separation had such a strong emotional impact on some of us because it felt like the end of a great film we’ve been sitting through for nearly 30 years…
In that regard, the ‘Epilogue’ video was a perfect way to end the feature film.
Favorite Track: Aerodynamic
To me, Daft Punk is the real good reason to be proud of France. We once brought Kavinsky to headline an electronic music festival in Normandy. He mostly played his friend’s music, throughout his set with the occasional Rage Against the Machine track every now and then. That night, we were treated a 100% pure Kavinsky-type set. He also played some Justice and all1800 people went crazy! Being the organizer, I was busy sorting a bunch of different issues when I suddenly heard the crowd go even crazier and saw the pit go wild. Kavinsky had just followed up Justice with a Daft Punk track. It must have been ‘High Life’ or ‘Crescendolls’, I don’t quite remember. It was a song off of Discovery. We were in a small province of about 100 000 inhabitants, 15 years after the album’s release… The mere fact that one of Daft Punk’s friends came and played one of their songs made everyone lose their minds! That’s the power of Daft Punk, the legend. One year later, after diving deeper into Kav’s album, his history with Oizo [Mr.Oizo, aka Quentin Dupieux], Guy Man … I started Retro Synth Fury with Johann of Drive Radio [aka Absolute Valentine]. Since then, all of the artists we received at our RSF shows unanimously mention Daft Punk as one of their biggest influences.
To me, Daft Punk is my entire childhood. From when I was five, I was competing in gymnastics and I would hear Da Funk play every time during the intermissions. They would also play ‘Around the World’ and even some tracks by Jean-Michel Jarre!
Favorite Track : DIGITAL LOVE – Daft Punk represents my first love. When Discovery came out, there came a downpour of hits on every French radio station : there was obviously ‘One More Time’, a more discrete ‘Aerodynamic’, then came ‘Digital Love’… Every day around 5pm, I’d sit at my windowsill and wait for the girl I had a crush on to pass by my street, and ‘Digital Love’ would play every single time she’d pass by.
I didn’t understand a word of English at the time, I didn’t even remember the name Daft Punk. But with time, I realized that the lyrics to the song were the exact reflection of what I was feeling at the time. It’s amazing to realize how universal their music is. Even without understanding their lyrics, their music manages to convey a message. Lyrics aren’t typically all that important in electronic music, but even on that aspect they managed to hit a bullseye.
Anthony Retro Synth Fury
To me, Daft Punk is the best live show I’ll ever see. Seeing them in the Nîmes Arena was an unforgettable experience. I discovered their music through Homework and they made me realize that it was possible to make music at home, and that’s how my home studio was born. I also really loved the Tron Legacy Soundtrack, a great score from top to bottom that still influences me to this day.
Favorite track: Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger
(Artist, founder of Lazerdiscs records, co-founder of Drive Radio)
To me, Daft Punk is audio engineering that changed electronic music forever. Their use of filters and compression is unmatched and more influential than any other electronic sound in the last 30 years.
Favorite song: Crescendolls
To me Daft Punk is the genesis. As one of my earliest experiences with electronic music, their sounds were immediately captivating and set me on the path leading to where I am today. The friends I would meet, the interests I would develop… who I would eventually become. The Robots are partly responsible for all of it. Adieu my friends.
Favorite Track: High Life
Andrew Zistler (NewRetroWave Music Editor)
To me, Daft Punk is 1995, when I was 12 years old. I didn’t really listen to music at the time, but I’d occasionally skim through the radio channels on my parent’s old stereo system. One day, I came across ‘Da Funk’ on what must probably have been NRJ Radio. I remember being struck by the sounds, by the overdriven TB and the super heavy rhythm and bass section. Back then, we didn’t have Shazam or the Internet to identify songs, and it took me ages before I found out what I had just heard. It was one of my biggest frustrations at the time!
Favorite Track: I think that my favorite track is ‘Something About Us’ for its terrific bassline. I’m fortunate enough to own speakers through which they sound particularly good, and it’s always a pleasure to re-listen to that song. Furthermore, the song appears on one of my most cherished albums, an that album continues to inspire me to this day.
To me Daft Punk, was some sort of melancholic tea cake of Marcel Proust. There was a bunch of stuff that annoyed me with Daft Punk, but the whole electronic and especially all the retro-driven electronic scene owe them a lot. They democratized electronic music to an audience larger than anything we saw before and largely popularized the concept of faceless musicians, which, as you can imagine, vastly participated in my vision for Carbon Killer. Their most melancholic tracks that I initially didn’t really like, are for years now, evocating the slowly fading memories of a warmer time in my life, and I do enjoy a lot to give them a listen as a way to time travelling to those moments… Godspeed, robots !
Favorite Track : If you want to travel too, listen to « Something about us »
To me, Daft Punk is my youth. The first track I heard was ‘Da Funk’, and then ‘Around the World’. I didn’t know what a vocoder was. Homework felt like a revolution. Discovery was an evolution.
Favorite Track : Veridis Quo
Makeup and Vanity Set
Daft Punk to me is music I’ve been carrying in my record bag since the release of Homework and Discovery. As a dj I love playing Daft Punk in my set. Whether it’s ‘One more time’, ‘Aerodynamic’, ‘Revolution 909’ or ‘Robot Rock’ to name a few.. for me each Daft Punk track is a gem. Play one of these or any of their tracks in a club with a good soundsystem at the right moment, at the right time.. you reach total euphoria. Daft Punk’s music gets the crowd going! People love it. Honestly I think it just feels right to me for them to close the book. They’ve done it all there’s nothing more to add, proof or show.. this is it and it’s epic!
As a club night organizer. “Daft Punk vibes” is what I tell people not familiar with electronic music, when describing our Night Arcade club nights in Amsterdam. Who doesn’t know Daft Punk!
Favorite track: Short Circuit
(DJ & founder of Night Arcade Nights at Melkweg Amsterdam)
To me, Daft Punk represents an era, a generation! I’ve always been drawn to their distinctive sound, it’s unique and instantly recognizable. I love all of their albums but the one that left the biggest impression on me was Discovery. Their collaboration with Leiji Matsumoto is simply magical and so organic. It was a big influence on me for my Supernova albums. I discovered Daft Punk in the Nineties when I was starting out as a DJ. I had heard a few of their tracks off of Homework that really left an impression on me, but ‘Rolling & Scratching’ is the track that got me definitely hooked! People would go wild whenever I’d play it live. The groundwork was set and that’s when I knew that I needed to follow in their tracks. I was lucky enough to see them onstage in Nîmes in 2007. It was simply fantastic… an unforgettable audiovisual experience. I also got to meet Pedro Winter in Cannes, who had a great role in their career and who is a terrific guy.
Beyond their musical input, the band were unanimously loved for doing what they felt like doing! They turned down huge deals and collaboration offers that any artist would go crazy over and they set their own rules. They didn’t follow anyone, they’re the ones that people followed. They left with beauty and class and the whole world is paying tribute to them. As for me, I thank them for their career. The world will have known a great (French) group whose music we’ll keep playing over and over and bobbing our heads to.
Favorite track: That’s really tough. I’m torn between Digital Love (the Supertramp gets me every time) and Too Long (And Romanthony’s magical voice on Discovery).
To me Daft Punk is the reason I got into electronic music and also into producing…heck even my mask is heavily inspired by them 🙂. They are and always will be my gold standard when it comes to electronic music, be it production, song writing or style.
Favorite Track…jeez, thats hard, but it has to be Robot Rock 🙂
To me Daft Punk is all about evolution. Constantly evolving their sound and changing the industry with every release. They were pioneers and true game changers, reviving long dead genres back into the mainstream for new listeners with fresh ears. It was the soundtrack to my youth. Beautiful memories featuring a Daft Punk backing track. It’s a sad feeling knowing I’ll never see them live. It’s been one hell of a ride. Thank you for the music.
Favourite Song: Technologic / Aerodynamic
(Film Producer & Director, Organiser at Retro Future Fest)
To me, Daft punk is a duo that established themselves as an internationally recognized household name from the very start of their career. Through their combination of quality and simplicity, they paved the way for a number of French producers alongside Air, namely Justice and Kavinsky. Without Daft Punk and Pedro Winter’s management, these acts would have probably never made it outside France. When pretty much 95% of successful acts in France sound more or less like carbon copies of what’s going on in the U.S, it’s a real pleasure to see French artists making an international breakthrough and setting a precendent with their own style.
My first great memories of the band happen to be their first ventures on screen, namely with their all-round great music videos for Da Funk and Around the World. Through their slick, unconventional and very artsy visual aesthetic, people quickly picked up on their need to do things differently, to add a certain depth that was often lacking with most popular electronic music acts. They steered clear of pop music clichés where everything is about money and sex, whether implicitly or explicitly.
My favourite release of theirs is paradoxically one of their least popular ones, the Tron Legacy Soundtrack. I didn’t really like the film but the Soundtrack is sublime. I’ve listened to it hundreds of times and I will never grow tired of it. It’s definitely one of their most Cyberpunk and epic releases. Before I started Fixions, I’d spend a lot of time listening to that album as well as the first Fever Ray album, so those two albums are huge influences for Fixions.
Favorite track: Outlands
To me, Daft Punk embodies the mystery, the coolness, the world-class musicianship, the groove in electronic music. Those instant hits you can’t help but dance to. Incredibly catchy tracks that effortlessly stay in your head for days and days.
Favourite track: Instant Crush (feat. Julian Casablancas)
(Artist & founder of Aztec Records)