My Own DaftPunkology


Repetitive beats. Robots. Technodancing. Flashy lights. Catchy tunes. Autotunes. Flashy helmets. Funky vibe.

(I was thinking of another 'one-hit wonder?' )


That's Daft Punk for me. I first came across their music around late 90's. Back when MTV was still focused on playing music and not reality dirtshows. I was intrigued by this certain video. There were no artist's face on the video. Some weird looking tall guys, some skeleton dudes, all running up and down and back.

The song was catchy, despite all too weird for my taste then. I was in my teens, and slowly my music appetite wasn't just based on Oasis, Eraserheads, Metallica or any rockband. I began to listen to the Pop revolution of Britney Spears/Backstreet Boys and pretended to hate them back in the day (only to sing them now on karaoke with much gusto.) But this thing I was watching, all colors and beats aside, caught my ear, vision and attention.

'WOW' came into my head. I could teach that song lyric to a goldfish. I could've written that song with my left foot. It was crazy. It was also awesome. This 'discovery' of mine lead me to search for similar 'electronic' driven music groups and experiment on such genre. I have found Chemical Brothers, The Prodigy, and in some sort of way, I fell in love with Aqua's auto-tunes and synths (secretly at that time.)

Remember, there was no Youtube then, no Twitter, no Facebook. It was pure 'oldschool' resourcing for music and fandom then. MTV, radio, legit hard copies of albums, whether in cassette tapes or CDs if you are extra cool back in the day.

If Daft Punk started to exist in the 00's, it may have been different. They would've become real rockstars right now. But no, it was right for them to be made in the 90's, and then live beyond. You may not be a fan of Daft Punk, but you do KNOW them, or a bit (or beat) of their work. They are not Aerosmith, Madonna, Michael Jackson or N'SYNC when it comes to popularity and influence.

They're not the world's greatest musicians, but they do deserve MORE recognition. The French electronic (and robotic) music duo has been on the industry for years, and yet they do still remain as they are, Daft Punk. They're in the scene since 1993, that's 21 years for you non-math enthusiasts out there. That kind of longevity on the industry is solid. How many arrests were they involved in? How many scandals were they got caught up with? Ok, any news about them at all?

None. It could be because of their own choice, or their PR manager just sleeps on the job. Or probably they just do their own 'DAFT' ways around the world. 


There are countless reasons why they're not popular enough as the 'superstars'. Many 'purists' would argue and say, 'They don't do REAL music, it's all digital distortions and auto-tunes', some would not even consider them as 'artists.'

That's from an actual Youtube user from the video 'One More Time'

'I prefer real instruments that electronic music.' That was my exact thought bubble, probably not as eloquently structured, when I first heard of Daft Punk on my teenage years. But I can't question their music skills. And how can I not adore their series of videos for their second album? The videos wherein a band of blue people (Smurfs?Avatar?) in a Japanese-inspired cartoon, traveling and rocking in space altogether? Genius.

Interstella 5555: The 5tosy of the 5ecret 5tar 5system. That was the full length of videos produced by DP, that featured their songs on their album 'Discovery.' The song 'One more time' was a success. It was playing in the clubs, in parties. It was succeeded by 'Digital Love' and 'Harder Better Faster Stronger.' 

They give out a mix of influences from the disco of the 70's and the new wave of the 80's. The duo doesn't deny their obvious influences, but at the same time made sure they stamp it with their own insignia. For me, I'd prefer REAL music than music played on 'real' instruments by 'trained' artists or out-of-reality-show celebrities that come out with an album and hit 1 billion views on the interwebs.


How do they look like? If suddenly for some reason, I would walk down the street and pass by them minus their ultra cool headgears, I'd just keep walking. Even if they play their own music live. Even if they'd pay me to watch them on the street performance, nope, I would hurry myself even more.

Shiny faces photo from here.

It was the dawn of the robot mask/headgear era. They may not be the first to wear masks or headgears in the business, but they're good at it. They seem to be shying away from the mainstream, and yet are enjoying worldwide success at the same time. They are in the business of getting recognised through their work, yet this formula is so unorthodox, a regular fan just doesn't seem to buy it. They walk a thin line between a sellout and the underground. 

This is an excerpt from their Wikipedia page which sums up their 'non-celebrity/mystery status':

According to Bangalter, the duo has a "general rule about not appearing in videos." Although Daft Punk rarely grants interviews, Bangalter is cited as being the more talkative and opinionated one of the duo. With regard to fame and stardom, he said:

Yes. I think people understand what we are doing. I know many people who maybe like the way we are handling things. People understand that you don't need to be on the covers of magazines with your face to make good music. Painters or other artists, you don't know them but you know what they are doing. We are very happy that the concept in itself is becoming famous. In France, you speak of Daft Punk and I'm sure millions of people have heard it, but less than a few thousand people know our face—which is the thing we're into. We control it, but it's not us physically, our persons. We don't want to run into people who are the same age as us, shaking our hand and saying, 'Can I have your autograph?' because we think we're exactly like them. Even girls, they can fall in love with your music, but not with you. You don't always have to compromise yourself to be successful. The playing with masks is just to make it funnier. Pictures can be boring. We don't want all the rock n' roll poses and attitudes—they are completely stupid and ridiculous today.

Not everybody is on their genre and kind of work. Which makes it work for them and for the music industry. The names Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter are not trendy. They don't sound Daft Punk-y enough. But they find the rock-n-roll poses and attitudes completely stupid and ridiculous! Can we ask them to teach our so-called role models of greatest artists of the world?

They aren't superstars. But yet, they are still Human After All. Oh, and really cool artists too. 

Harder Better Faster Stronger

20 years have passed, and they released (only) their 4th album. [5 if you count their Tron:Legacy work.] Random Access Memories became a hit. Probably thanks to Pharell and Nigel Rodgers, they did 'Get Lucky.' (Sorry can't help it.) But it is not all about luck. That song embodied their craft, full of funk, electronica and pure artistry.

I am typing here as if it was the best song in the world (Jack Black of Tenacious D would argue that), but it showed the new generation of music fans that they're here to stay. Whether they were sellouts or have gone mainstream, Grammy doesn't care. They have a total of 13 nominations, 7 award wins, 5 of which this year alone. 

Whether you're a fan or not, you must be a sad individual if you don't find their 2014 Grammy performance with Stevie Wonder brilliant and fantastic. Sir freakin Paul Macca was even jazzing his 1000 year old self to it. It was an epic DP performance.


Repetitive beats. 
Flashy lights. 
Catchy tunes. 
Flashy helmets. 
Funky vibe.

(I was thinking then of a 'one-hit wonder?' ) <- Wrong.

They are true old-school artists that we all need to break away from the real 'punks' today who would get themselves caught in a crime scene from whatever 'daft' acts they have done. They don't need scandal or twerking. All they needed was their artistic drive and the funky beats and vibe. And probably their headgears of course.

Forgive me for the pun, but I was the one who got lucky they weren't one-hit wonders.

1 comment

  1. That 'Japanese-inspired cartoon' is under the direction of Leiji Matsumoto who worked on popular anime classics including Captain Harlock and Galaxy Express 999. You should see them.


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