Random Access Memories by Daft Punk

Random Access Memories by Daft Punk


Daft Punk have built their entire career on defying conventions, but have also been directly responsible for at least two revolutions in electronic dance music. The French DJs may hide behind ridiculous robot costumes, but are true masters in catching the pulse of the clubs – in short, they’re trendsetters. Realizing that the E.D.M. scene today is dominated by computer-processed samples and loops, the Grammy-winning duo have arrived at the conclusion that the time is ripe for another sea change.


Random Access Memories lives up to the hype and more. It is beautiful, groovy, 70s classic disco that brings back live instrumentation and uncompressed recording techniques. Maybe we should look to the past in order to make music of the future, and this breath of nostalgia is treated with just enough Daft Punky-isms to make it the characteristic bestseller and game-changer that it is bound to become. And it arrives just as the saturated pop/club charts need an infusion of fresh thinking, because let’s face it – dubstep and drum n bass just aren’t cool anymore.


#1. Give Life Back To Music 4:34
#2. The Game Of Love 5:21
#3. Giorgio By Moroder 9:04
#4. Within 3:48
#5. Instant Crush 5:37
#6. Lose Yourself To Dance 5:53
#7. Touch 8:18
#8. Get Lucky 6:07
#9. Beyond 4:50
#10. Motherboard 5:41
#11. Fragments Of Time 4:39
#12. Doin’ It Right 4:11
#13. Contact 6:21


Thomas Bangalter: Instrumentation, Mixing
Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo: Instrumentation, Mixing


Daft Punk


21st May, 2013


Get Lucky


The intention is clear right off the bat as Give Life Back To Music strides in showing off the well-known guitar licks from Chic hitmaker Nile Rodgers. The message is clear: in an age where technology is merging with lifestyle, real man-made music needs to be preserved. This ‘human factor’ drives the expository remix of Giorgio By Moroder – a storytelling epic in the style of M83 that launches into the early days of the king of Italo disco.


Within sees Canadian producer Chilly Gonzales mess around on the piano, which is duly mixed and looped by the robots resulting in something that resembles an easy listening experience. But things ramp up quickly as Julian Casablancas vocoder-croons his way through Instant Crush. The weird thing about this is that this actually sounds like it could have come off The Strokes latest LP, quietly thrumming guitars and pulsating synths backed by steady live drumming.


Making an album with so many guests is always a tricky affair. You don’t want to bring in a busload of big-name artists that produce generic goo, and the line between ceding creative control and sidetracking the guest is not a thick one. The Parisian duo try a new approach: one in which the album is a journey, and each artist is an exotic hamlet that you visit before moving on. It’s still the pleasure principle at work, in a less-is-more fashion.


Lead single Get Lucky is already the biggest hit in Daft Punk’s storied career, fueled by deft collaborative work that strikes gold. Pharrell Williams shows his true abilities here, while Nile Rodgers turns in another groovy line with his carefully choreographed guitar work. All the producers had to do was to add an appropriately funky bass, some retro keyboards, and viola – you have a genuine classic!


Another highlight is the appearance of Panda Bear on Doin’ It Right, which drowns the listener in vocoder washes and staccato leads. It’s almost like the robots are reminding everyone who really came up with the processed vocal technique. The closer Contact operates like a space launch on a powerful rocket, complete with authentic countdowns and radio calls from NASA – a bit self-indulgent, yes, but also thrilling and very much enjoyable.





One Response

  1. Grzesiek Arwar says:

    100% true! RAC is the best thing to happen to electronic music since Discovery.

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