Tag 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.

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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Hip Hop Playing Cards

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When the playing cards come out its either a wax coated all singing all dancing pack I acquired from a casino in Vegas or my mate brings out the dog eared set showcasing 70’s Nanna’s & Grandad’s having sexy time (you know who you are)…..Not any more!!! These Hip Hop Playing Cards are all awesome. Each card in the deck features a hip hop icon drawn by Sayori Wada ready for you to bust out on your next straight or royal flush. Just avoid the temptation to break out some lyrics when you lay one of them down.

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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

Is Tropical – The Greeks

THE best music video I have seen…

Denon 100th Anniversary Turntable

To celebrate its 100th Anniversary, Denon is releasing a special edition DP-A100 which features Denon’s direct drive system and has been matched up with a DL-A100 cartridge. The reverse side has also been treated with silicon rubber to absorb any vibration that may reach the record. Check out the history of Denon and a closer look at the turntable here

Peter Saville OMD ‘History of Modern’ Album Cover

Whilst Peter Saville might be best known for his work with the likes of Factory Records, Joy Division and New Order, the legendary designer hasn’t stopped working with album covers. Saville has designed the cover for British Band OMD’s latest album, ‘History of Modern’.