p>In a twist of cultural fate, a duo that started out as a self-confessed "average" rock act somehow morphed into the house electronic music phenomenon Daft Punk. Riding in on a crest of robot mask...
Paris, , FR
|Tron: Legacy||Actor||Masked DJ's||1|
|2013 MTV EMA (2012-2013)||Actor||Nominee||2012||1|
|Daft Punk & Leiji Matsumoto's Interstella 5555: The 5tory of The 5ecret 5tar 5ystem||Music||n/a||8000005|
|Sonic Cinema (2000-2001)||Song Performer||("One More Time" "Aerodynamic")||2000||8000013|
|Clubbed To Death||Song Performer||("Rollin' & Scratchin'")||8000042|
|The Saint||Song Performer||("Da Funk")||8000057|
|Iron Man 2||Song Performer||("Robot Rock")||8000066|
|Wrote their first film score for "Tron: Legacy" .|
|Released their debut album, Homework.|
|"Random Access Memories" becomes their first American #1 album,|
|Won their first two Grammys for "Harder Better Faster Stronger" and Alive 2007.|
|Signed to Virgin Records.|
|Released their second album, Discovery.|
Friends since 1987, the pair first met at a prestigious secondary school in Paris' 17th arrondissement, Lycée Carnot. Homem-Christo and Bangalter began their life in music after forming their first band, Darlin', named for the Beach Boys song. When a track of theirs was picked up for a multi-artist compilation on the indie label Duophonic Records -- founded by Anglo-French alternative band Stereolab -- the band was invited to open for them in London. A negative review of the track in UK's influential Melody Maker described the French act's contribution as "a daft punky thrash," inadvertently inspiring the duo's new name, Daft Punk.
In 1993, Homem-Christo and Bangalter met Stuart Macmillan of the band Slam at a rave. Macmillan was co-founder of Soma Quality Recordings, which went on to release Daft Punk's debut single, "The New Wave," in 1994. In 1995, the duo released their first commercial success, the single "Da Funk." By 1996, the band signed a deal with Virgin Records that enabled them to retain full control of their musical output through a licensing arrangement with the band's production company, Daft Trax. Virgin released their debut album, Homework (1997), a mix of techno, electro-funk and acid house, an American genre that had swept the UK.
The popularity of the new musical style epitomized by Daft Punk began to reflect throughout the entire pop culture scene, creating a natural opportunity for the band to expand its creative practice. The success of "Da Funk" led to the duo's first film credit when the track appeared in a Val Kilmer remake of the classic British espionage series "The Saint" (1997). Another track, "Life Is Sweet Daft Punk Mix" turned up in "Nowhere" (1997), the third film by indie auteur Gregg Araki. During that period, three of the band's songs were also used on "Daria" (MTV 1997-2002), an animated television series about a suburban outcast.
In 1999 the band began work on their second album, Discovery (2001), which pivoted away from house and towards synth-pop. The album charted in the UK, as did the singles "One More Time," "Digital Love" and "Face to Face," which hit #1 on the American dance charts. The anthemic "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" also struck a chord with audiences, and turned up again and again in other songs, like Kanye West's "Stronger" (2007), and the English post-punk band The Fall's "Cowboy George" (2010).
In 2003, the band expanded beyond their musical cult status by producing and releasing their own film project, the animated musical "Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem" (2003). The 68-minute film was a self-referential tale about the abduction of an interstellar musical act by an evil record executive, and was constructed around the track list of Discovery. The duo collaborated on the film with legendary anime and manga artist Leiji Matsumoto, best known for the space opera, "Space Battleship Yamato" (2010).
Daft Punk released their third studio album, Human After All (2005) to somewhat mixed reviews; it was quickly followed by a CD/DVD anthology Musique Vol. 1 1993-2005. But the duo didn't linger there, and in 2006 released "Daft Punk's Electroma," the first film project co-written and directed by the band. True to type, the plot centered on a pair of robots who want to become human. Against type, the score did not include any Daft Punk material, featuring the music of Ambient godfather Brian Eno, R&B innovator Curtis Mayfield and rock visionary Todd Rundgren instead. The following year, Daft Punk released its second live album, Alive 2007.
The following years were transitional for the band, who changed management in 2008, went back into the studio, and had tracks featured on multiple television programs, including "Gilmore Girls" (WB 2000-07) and "Entourage" (HBO 2004-2011). The band also won Grammy Awards in 2009 for the album Alive 2007 and the single "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger," and appeared as avatars in the video game DJ Hero, for which they also provided 11 remixes. That same year, it was announced they would score the sequel to the 1982 Disney sci-fi fantasy flick "Tron."
While the original "Tron" did not shake the box office as anticipated and was greeted with mixed reviews, it slowly achieved cult status, eventually warranting the belated sequel "Tron: Legacy"(2010). The duo spent two years collaborating with arranger Joseph Trapanese to weave the band's classic electronic voice in with an 85-piece orchestra. The film had a solid opening, but underwhelming critical reception. The score, however, garnered praise, and the album debuted at No. 10 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, becoming Daft Punk's highest-charting album in the United States. That same year, the duo was awarded the rank of Chevalier by the French Minister of Culture, the highest cultural recognition in France, and were each admitted into the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.
In 2010, the Daft Punk track "Robot Rock," appeared in the soundtrack of the second installment of a hit film franchise, "Iron Man 2." In 2012, the band created a runway mix for the newly installed Creative Director of Yves Saint Laurent, celebrity fashion designer Hedi Slimane. That same year, the band began to reveal details about their fourth studio album, Random Access Memories (2013). The project racked up a million dollars in production and marketing dollars by its completion, and drew on the talents of collaborators like producer and artist Pharrell Williams, Nile Rodgers (founder of the iconic disco dance band Chic), Feist collaborator Chilly Gonzales, and cheesy 1970s hit machine Paul Williams. The project also resurrected producer and film composer Giorgio Moroder, in the form of an audio interview voiceover about his life's work. The album debuted at #1 in several countries, including the top of the Billboard 200, making it their first American number-one album. The record received critical acclaim across the board, from major media outlets and music cognoscenti alike, and lead single "Get Lucky" became inescapable in clubs and on the radio.
|Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter met at the prestigious secondary school, Lycée Carnot.|
|Their first musical collaboration was a rock band, Darlin'.|
|The duo are never photographed without their iconic robot costumes, although occasional unauthorized photos of the two of them in civilian clothes show up online.|
|The first album by US dance act LCD Soundsystem includes the track "Daft Punk Are Playing At My House."|
|On "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon," the host always quotes the Daft Punk hit "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" in an Auto-Tuned voice at the start of the recurring sketch "Audience Suggestion Box."|
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