Category Archives: Music

The History Of Daft Punk’s Helmets

Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter of Daft Punk were two French guys who wanted to make dance music, and keep all the focus on just that – the music. In order to strip their personalities from the project completely, they linked up with special effects master Tony Gardner to help them design helmets that would that would shield their identities, essentially rendering them robots who make killer shit to dance to.  Mixmag‘s new mini-documentary, Daft Punk: Behind the Helmets is a visual history of the now-infamous headgear, from it’s early iterations with hair, to the ultra-sleek models of 2013. Watch it above. Seriously.

Rolling Stones x Skull Vodka 50th Anniversary Gift Set

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You best believe there was a bit of boozin’ going on backstage at some of the world’s biggest rock shows. In honor of that partying spirit, Crystal Head Vodka has teamed up with the Rolling Stones to release this 50th Anniversary Gift Set. Included is a bottle of Crystal Head Vodka (feel free to mix it with orange to get your Keith Richards on), a handcrafted display case, a 2-disc live compilation CD that will take you through the five decades of Stones awesomeness, and a crystal decanter top engraved with the tongue and lip logo. So put on the CD, break out and few glasses, and get some groupies on the horn to start your own party.

Daft Punk for CR Fashion Book

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Daft Punk recently sat down with Sky Ferreira of CR Fashion Book for an interview and photoshoot ahead of the release of Random Access Memories. Suited-up in custom Saint Laurent tuxedos designed by Hedi Slimane, the duo made for quite the sight. They spilled the beans on a variety of topics including the inspiration for the album title, working with Hedi Slimane and the current state of dance music. Below is a brief excerpt from the interview, the entirety of which can be found at CR Fashion Book.

SKY FERREIRA: What’s the meaning of your album’s title, Random Access Memories?
DAFT PUNK: 
The title plays with concepts of computer memory and human memories, establishing a loose parallel between the human brain and the hard drive—both are somehow randomly fragmented devices. We have always been fascinated by the relationship and connections between man and machine. 

What is the essence of the album?
This album is about technology going towards humanity, in a world where humanity is going towards technology. We tried to capture robotic emotions with music, replacing this time our electronic machines by real human beings.

What was the most difficult aspect of realizing the album?
Making this album was difficult and challenging in an exciting way, but that is the nature of these empirical musical experimentations. We tried to do some things we had never done in a studio. We wanted to learn techniques we did not know. We did not want to take the easy route. But somehow, the difficult parts of the entire creative process are what made the journey really worth it. 

It’s been almost 10 years since your last album. How do you think music has changed?
Everything now changes at a frantic speed. Our previous album seems to have been released a lifetime ago. We just created a timeless bubble around us for the last five years in order to create the music we wanted to listen to. 

You’re fascinated with the past. If you could travel to any moment in time, when and where would it be?
It’s a tough question to answer. Maybe witnessing the completion of the Great Pyramids, then traveling to see the remaining Six Wonders of the World, which are now long gone. 

You have said in many interviews that dance music as a whole is suffering right now. Why?
Dance music is almost exclusively made today with laptop computers, on the same software, with the same virtual instruments, and a lot of the same drum sounds. Computers, as music instruments, are making it difficult for musicians to have their distinctive sonic personality, and a lot of dance records are starting to sound the same, in a very formatted way.

What was your creative brief to [Saint Laurent designer] Hedi Slimane for this album?
Hedi is a longtime friend of ours. We share a lot of the same tastes in art and music. There was no specific brief for this album; we just played him the music. We generally prefer the music to do the talking. 

This album has been in the works for a long time. What is one of your best memories from putting it together?
Being in the studio with Nile Rodgers, one of our childhood heroes, was definitely one of the highlights. He just brought his guitar to Electric Lady Studios in New York and started to play. It is the exact same guitar he’s been playing on all these records and songs we love, like “Le Freak,” “Good Times,” “I’m Coming Out,” “He’s The Greatest Dancer,” “Upside Down,” “Let’s Dance,” and “Like a Virgin.” It was an amazing moment. 

All of your albums before this one were more or less homemade. Why did you decide to begin recording in a studio?
After having made three albums, we were looking for a fourth album we had not yet done. We’ve been making music as Daft Punk for 20 years, and we are always trying to feel like beginners. Going in a studio for the first time felt exciting because it was something new. WithRandom Access Memories, we ultimately decided we wanted to do a record we could not have done at home.

Where do you see yourselves in another 20 years?
That is classified information.

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Hiroshi Fujiwara ‘LOST HF MIX’ Live October 2001

If you have been following Hiroshi Fujiwara’s blog of late you will have noticed he has been uploading various mixes, varies from recent works to older works. Last week I posted the MY WAY track Fujiwara produced for Undercover while a recent addition he has made on his Soundcloud is this ‘LOST MIX’ which dates back more than 10 years. This live session is timed at over 1 hour but makes for a rare and worthwhile download from one of Japans pioneers.

Hiroshi Fujiwara ‘LOST HF MIX’ 2001

Mötley Crüe x NEIGHBORHOOD 30th Anniversary Box Set

To commemorate the 30th anniversary of American rock band Motley Crue’s first album, “Too Fast for Love”, Japanese brand NEIGHBORHOOD will release a limited edition box set on November 30. Coming to fruition under the basic understanding that many of the NEIGHBORHOOD staff members are Motley Crue fans, this box set will include a T-shirt and an extended version of the band’s debut album from 1981, in an LP-sized box. Get on to you mates in Japan though because this is only been released there!

Pretty Green x Quadrophenia Parka

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Pretty Green‚ Liam Gallagher’s clothing has announced a collaboration with the reissue of The Who’s ‘Quadrophenia – The Director’s cut’. To mark the collaboration‚ Pretty Green has designed a limited edition parka made legendry by ‘Jimmy’ from the Quadrophenia album cover. If you have been in a cave all your life and don’t know, The album/film tells the tale of a young mod and his struggle to come of age in the mid-1960s.

The parka has been an iconic image since the album was released. Only 100 are being made and are priced at £500. They will be exclusively available from the Pretty Green Carnaby Street store.
Liam Gallagher says, ‘As I’m a massive fan of The Who, and Quadrophenia being one of my favourite albums of all time, it’s an honour to be associated.’

Pretty Green are also showcasing Pete Townshend’s archives of notes, desk diaries, photos and original lyrics from the making of Quadrophenia alongside album artwork and outtakes in a never been seen before exhibition at our flagship store in London’s Carnaby Street. The exhibit opens to the public on Thursday 27th October, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to get up close to Pete Townshend’s work and his inspirations behind the making of the seminal album.

Marshall Major Headphones

I am sick of seeing people wear those Dr Dre endorsed headphone maybe they sound good but they look shit and very much believe Dre would wear them outside of a photoshoot op. Now these on the other hand look great.

Famous amp maker Marshall shook up the audio world when they released the Marshal Major and Minor headphones. A little over a year later, they’ve now added some phone-friendly additions to their flagship Major cans in the form of an integrated mic and remote. Both features function as you’d expect, allowing users to answer calls and flip through playlists with compatible phones such as the iPhone. Otherwise, the set remains unchanged and still features a matching headband made form the same vinyl as the amplifier, excellent sound quality, and a 6.3mm headphone adapter for musicians and DJs. Best of all the price hasn’t budged and getting more for your money is never a bad thing.