- Henry Nulf
Review: Daft Punk Random Access Memories
The vibe that comes from listening to Daft Punk is unlike any other musical act I’ve ever heard. With
their revolutionary style of French House music, Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter first started making waves in the music industry with the 1997 debut “Homework,” and later reached critical acclaim with a 2001 effort “Discovery” which would eventually be hailed by many, including Rolling Stone, as one of the greatest Electronic Dance Music records of all time.
These albums, as well as the rest of their catalog, have solidified Daft Punk as a legacy hard to rival. And the 2013 e ort “Random Access Memories,” is no exception.
Although largely leaving behind house music, the genre that got them where they were in the rst place, and leaning more toward a disco-esque aesthetic, the track list still manages to find itself lined with iconic Daft Punk sounds, complete with masterful production and fantastic features that seem handpicked for each song.
Pharell Williams on “Get Lucky” for example (and numerous other tracks as well) brings the soulful charisma needed to tie it together. Williams himself stated that it reminded him of a “sunrise on an exotic island,” according to a YouTube episode.
The other features fuse their own sound into Daft Punk’s as well such as Julian Casablancas of The Strokes on “Instant Crush,” with his signature voice, or legendary producer Giovanni Giorgio Moroder on “Giorgio by Moroder” just straight up telling his story. The eight-minute track “Touch” with Paul Williams is probably the most grand piece of music on the album, as it goes through numerous di erent styles of music. Everything from the ambient build up to the dance heavy middle section; it’s a beautiful core to the album that seems to, in one singular song, represent what the entire album has - variety.
The vibes mentioned prior are a mainstay for the entirety of the album as well with themes of both technology and humanity. According to musician Bangalter, quoted in a Rolling Stone interview, “We were drawing a parallel between the brain and the hard drive – the random way that memories are stored.”
Every single song here I can find myself either dancing, laying back to, or even deeply analyzing. Much like many artists have layers to their lyrics or themes, Daft Punk have achieved deep layers with their production. The whole thing feels like an experience with how many sounds and themes it covers within just barely over an hour. It is to put it simply, meaningful dance music.