Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Daft Punk: Robotic, but retro

The release of their first single, Get Lucky earlier this year, which features Pharrell Williams of The Neptunes fame, sent anticipating fans into overdrive by giving them a taste of the futuristic funk they have been longing for.

With drummed up disco beats and a chorus so hot you could almost feel the sweat dripping to the floor, the single certainly helped whet the appetites of the French house duo’s fans. But what about the rest of the album?

The 13-track album’s release comes at a time in music where electronic sounds and computer-generated tapestries have reached mainstream commercial status, so you might expect the pioneering, cyborg-looking duo with their C-3PO-like headgear to revolutionise things by offering up something spectacular.

But while collaborations on Random Access Memories (with the likes of Nile Rodgers, Julian Casablancas and Panda Bear) promised intrigue and innovation, they turned out to be rather dull, synthetic odes that only make for good listening if you’re willing to be fuelled with nostalgia of all the disco drama of days gone by.

Other tracks like The Game of Love harp on and on in a web of cheesy robot tones which lack the snappy hook of the Parisian duo’s single. The more up-beat dance track Lose Yourself to Dance, which is another Pharrell Williams collaboration, is infused with far too many requests that the listener “c’mon, c’mon”, which leaves the listening wishing that Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, in their spacesuit-clad bodies, would just "come on" by themselves and leave Pharrell out of it.

It’s not all bad though. The album lets the listener revel in a realm of retro soundscapes that offer up everything from lengthy interludes laced with jazz to cyborg-inspired moments. And even though attempting to listen to the album in one sitting is bound to baffle, visiting the space station that is Random Access Memories will prove worthwhile.

Daft Punk were always going to be robotic but one thing is undeniable: this is not the Fruity-Loops experimental electronica listeners have numbed themselves with in recent times. 

Subscribe to the M&G

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them.

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Subscribers only

Mbeki tells ANC that land without compensation goes against the...

‘This would be a very serious disincentive to investment,’ says Thabo Mbeki in a document arguing that the ANC should not proceed with the Constitutional amendment of section 25

Micro-hydropower lights up an Eastern Cape village

There is hidden potential for small hydropower plants in South Africa

More top stories

SIU freezes R22-million in Digital Vibes accounts

The Special Investigating Unit said it would ask the tribunal to declare the health department’s contract with the company unlawful

Life-saving free train travel offered to domestic abuse victims in...

A pioneering railway scheme in the UK is helping domestic violence victims to escape their abusers by providing them with free travel to reach refuge

Oral submissions to inquiry on local government elections start next...

The hearings will be open to the media and the public, under strict level-three regulations

Education employees queue for Covid jabs, but some may have...

People who have had Covid-19 in the past 30 days or who have had a flu shot in the past 14 days will be vaccinated at a later date
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×