One more time: A look back through Daft Punk’s career

Jack Halligan

Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter met at a Paris secondary school in 1987. By 1992 the duo formed a band initially known as Darlin’.

Today, almost thirty years later, we know the band as Daft Punk and the performers as eccentric and musically gifted robots.

During the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries the duo became the last word in electronic music, with their albums selling in the millions and many of their tracks featuring a whole host of eager guest stars.

Guests such as Pharrell Williams, Nile Rogers, Julian Casablancas and even the legendary “Father of Disco” Giorgio Moroder. 

Earlier in February, amidst the third national lockdown, the band retired. Although their last studio album, the modern classic Random Access Memories, was released all the way back in 2013, Daft Punk’s split truly feels like the end of an era.

Through every song the robotic duo refused to sacrifice their style, a relentlessly exciting mix of techno, disco, pop and indie rock. The band even managed to elevate the unremarkable film Tron: Legacy with an exceptionally energetic soundtrack.

It is interesting that the band has ended their run twenty years after the release of Discovery. This 2001 album cemented their place in the pantheon of electronic music.

Although previous hits Around the World and Da Funk debuted on their previous album, Homework, Discovery feels like the album where the band’s distinctive style came together.

This is the album where the pair first wore their iconic robot costumes, an artistic decision that gave Daft Punk a somewhat mysterious vibe that separated them from the competition.

Discovery took on a more synthpop-oriented style and made extensive use of samples from the ‘70s and ‘80s. The album reached the number 2 spot in the UK charts and its best tracks, One More Time and Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger remain perhaps the peaks of the band’s storied output.

All it takes is a listen of any playlist that contains Get Lucky (forever the sound of the summer of 2013), Instant Crush, Derezzed or Robot Rock to recognize that Daft Punk is a band unlike any other and we will almost certainly never see their like again. 

Daft Punk’s split is understandably a source of sorrow for their millions of fans. However, it is also a reason to celebrate almost thirty years of incredible music.

Jack Halligan

Image Credit: EDM