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Daft Punk provides examples of the following tropes:
- Aerith and Bob: Their names are Guillaume Emmanuel ("Guy-Manuel", or just "Guy-Man") de Homem-Christo... and Thomas Bangalter.
- Album Title Drop:
- Almost. "Fragments of Time" from ''Random Access Memories" mentions "random memories".
- The spoken lines of "WDPK 83.7 FM": "WDPK 83.7, the sound of tomorrow, the music of today, brings you exclusively Daft Punk's Homework."
- all lowercase letters: Their name is rendered this way on their logo and album covers.
- Animated Music Video: Interstella 5555 is essentially a glorified one of these, along with all of the Discovery music videos which were derived from it.
- Appropriated Appellation: They're named after a disparaging review of their previous band (a garage rock band called Darlin', where the reviewer described it as "a daft punky thrash").
- Arc Number: 9.
- Arc Symbol: For Human After All, a television. There was one on the album cover, one on every single cover, and songs such as "Television Rules the Nation" and "On/Off" continued the trend.
- Audience Participation Song:
- Author Tract:
- Their film Interstella 5555 is basically a gigantic middle finger to the celebrity system and the corporate world's exploitation of artists, which fits Daft Punk's core philosophies quite well.
- It can be argued that Electroma has one as well, if anyone could figure it out.
- Awesome Mc Coolname:
- Body Horror: The music video for "Prime Time of Your Life".
- Broken Record: The vast majority of their earlier work involve some melody or vocal sample repeated to a humongous extent. Take "Around the World" for example, which repeats the title 144 times.
- "The Prime Time of Your Life" has a unique variation. At the two-minute mark, a beat is established that loops throughout the song. However, it gradually gets faster over time until it devolves into a mechanical whir at the very end.
- Brown Note: Bangalter wrote the film score for Irreversible and reportedly loaded the soundtrack up with low-frequency infrasonics in order to disturb the audience.
- Call-Back: The design of the back cover track listing of Human After All is identical to that of Discovery.
- The Cameo:
- Central Theme: The connections and differences between robots and humans.
- The opening of Alive 2007 has two robotic voices chanting "ROBOT" and "HUMAN" at each other.
- Human After All dives into this topic, natch. The album seems to alternate between the two but shows more focus on the robot/technological side musically and thematically ("Brainwasher", "Steam Machine", "Technologic", "Robot Rock", "On/Off", "Television Rules the Nation") with some exceptions. Halfway through the album, it decides to take a break with the downbeat and mellow "Make Love", and it comes full circle at the very end with "Emotion".
- This picture◊ of the duo has the word "HUMAN" written on Thomas's helmet visor.
- Daft Punk's Electroma has their robot characters attempting to use disguises to become human. It backfires horribly.
- Cluster F-Bomb: Their "Touch It/Technologic" mix during the Alive 2007 tour had the robot voice dropping one of these by splicing different phrases together.
- Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Downplayed, but when the duo appears in their "standard" outfits, Thomas' helmet is silver, and Guy-Man's is golden.
- Cool Helmet: Their signature visual image, and a core part of their identity.
- Darker and Edgier: Human After All. Its songs had a lot more of a rock influence, and a grittier, more abrasive sound overall. Some of the music videos were downright terrifying.
- Downer Ending:
- The music video for "The Prime Time of Your Life" ends with the protagonist being so insecure about her weight (while perceiving everyone else as a skeleton) that she skins herself and presumably dies afterwards. Her parents find her body, after which we see that everyone that she perceived as a skeleton was actually normal-looking the whole time.
- Dude Looks Like a Lady: Guy-Manuel in his earlier years. He was even mistaken for Thomas' girlfriend in one instance.
- Dying Declaration of Love: "Something About Us".
- Dystopia: "Human After All" seems to evoke this worldview; it uses minimalism, emotional detachment and repetition to assert that with our reliance of technology, dystopia may not just be a thing of the future, but it may already be here.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: After many years in the business, Daft Punk finally got a US Top 40 hit with 2013's "Get Lucky". The thing is, a veteran music act scoring its first Top 40 hit in the 2010s is almost unheard of. In fact, the last time this happened was with Weezer and "Beverly Hills". And that was in 2005. And to top it off, "Get Lucky" would win Record of the Year and Random Access Memories would win Album of the Year at the 2014 Grammys. (Though the Grammys have no problem recognizing veteran music acts.)
- And just four years later, they would finally score a #1 hit (in the U.S.) by producing and featuring in The Weekend's "Starboy".
- Epic Instrumental Opener: Inverted on Alive 2007. It starts with two voices chanting "ROBOT" and "HUMAN" back and forth at each other, getting faster and faster, before segueing into the largely-instrumental "Robot Rock".
- Epic Rocking:
- "Too Long", the finale of Discovery, which is ten minutes long.
- "Giorgio by Moroder" and "Touch" from Random Access Memories are over 8 minutes long and go through several musical styles.
- Many tracks on Homework are five to seven minutes long, including the uncut version of "Around the World".
- Their "Prime Time of Your Life / Brainwasher / Rollin' & Scratchin' / Alive" mashup is their longest song, clocking at 10:22.
- Human After All closes with the 7-minute long "Emotion".
- Every Episode Ending: Inverted; each music video for a Human After All song starts with a TV outline appearing and the phrase "SPECIAL PRESENTATION" appearing inside the TV.
- The Faceless: The duo are famous for their refusal to allow ANYONE to see their true faces. Even before the started wearing their robot helmets, when they were just two French guys during their first tour, they were described as "incredibly shy," which might have something to do with their general reclusiveness.
- Interviews are a mixed bag. The two did interviews promoting Daft Punk's Electroma with hoods over their heads, and during the pre-production of TRON: Legacy, they actually met the Director at a Los Angeles pancake house ... while wearing their robot suits! On the other hand, for a GQ profile promoting Random Access Memories they were without their robot suits and were able to blend in public perfectly.
- A later helmetless picture was posted to Facebook by another electronic band, The Knocks, in June 2013. They were ultimately forced to take it down, though the image is still visible.◊
- Fading into the Next Song:
- The first few songs from Homework all fade into each other.
- Discovery has only a few noticeable song breaks throughout the entire album. (Incidentally, a remix of "Aerodynamic" on the album Daft Club, "Aerodynamic (Daft Punk Remix)", though not an example but likely meant to take this further, takes the lyrics of "One More Time" and adds them to "Aerodynamic", with the two having been examples of the previously mentioned trope originally.)
- Being a live DJ set, Alive 2007 is chock full of these.
- Fake-Out Fade-Out:
- For Doom the Bell Tolls: The opening of "Aerodynamic".
- Freak Lab Accident: Legend tells that when the pair were working on a sampler on September 9th, 1999, at exactly 9:09 AM, their studio exploded. When they came to, they were robots.
- Fun Personified: As can be seen in the quote above, they take the enjoyment of their fans very seriously. Their iconic robot look is a way for fans to immerse themselves into the music. When they finally agreed to perform at Coachella, they kept on asking for more of their fee in advance to build the now iconic pyramid set.note 10% is a usually a good advance even for a highly sought after artist. Daft Punk were getting $300,000 and this wasn't even close to enough
- Fun with Acronyms: A DVD of the music videos for Homework was released with the title D.A.F.T.: A Story About Dogs, Androids, Firemen and Tomatoes. Aside from spelling "Daft", this references elements of the videos themselves — Charles, the anthropomorphic dog main character in "Da Funk" and "Fresh", the robots in "Around the World", the firefighters in "Burnin'", and the tomatoes in "Revolution 909".
- Genre Roulette: Random Access Memories, while listed as "Pop" on iTunes, toys around with many different genres and genre influences between songs. "Give Life Back to Music", "Lose Yourself to Dance" and "Get Lucky" are disco, while other songs like "Giorgio by Moroder" and "Contact" are more influenced by electronica, though with some live instrumentation. "Doin' it Right", and "Fragments of Time" fall squarely into soft rock, while "Instant Crush" is a more electronic take on the alternative rock music of singer Julian Casablacas in The Strokes. Their collaboration with Paul Williams, "Touch," is a roulette game by itself, mixing disco, pop, roadhouse piano, a children's choir, and sci-fi psychedelia.
- Genre Throwback: While Daft Punk have always toyed with this idea, Random Access Memories was the first time that they actually sounded like their heroes from The '70s. The album features Nile Rodgers of disco band Chic and Giorgio Moroder (disco producer most known for creating Donna Summer's best works). The session musicians used for the album were given music by Electric Light Orchestra, Supertramp and Michael McDonald as reference points, and it shows.
- Gratuitous Panning: "WDPK 83.7 FM" has a vocoded voice saying "music" that is repeatedly panned between the right and left ears.
- A Good Name for a Rock Band: Or for a House Duo — the phrase "daft punk" originally appeared in a negative review of their former band (see Appropriated Appellation above).
- Hell-Bent for Leather: During their Human After All era, the duo was most frequently seen wearing leather jackets and pants.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: The duo has known each other since grade school and are seemingly the closest of friends after all these years. There's a big d'awww factor in that as well. Case in point, when they won the Best Album award at the 2014 Grammys, the first thing the robots did was hug each other for a good few seconds before heading onstage.
- There's a reason the first album was called Homework. Further, one of the songs on Human After All is called "Robot Rock" — Kraftwerk's preferred term for techno.
- "Teachers" is this. It's a List Song of Daft Punk's influences as musicians.
- Both Discovery and Random Access Memories can be seen as a Homage to the music of the late '70s and early '80s, but the two albums take very different approaches. Discovery makes extensive use of samples of disco and post-disco songs, while Random Access Memories uses a live band and vintage electronics to recreate the original sound.
- Iconic Item: Their robot helmets.
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Well, Album Naming — Alive 1997 and Alive 2007.
- Idiosyncratic Cover Art / Minimalistic Cover Art:
- Incredibly Long Note:
- At the two minute mark of "The Prime Time of Your Life", the robotic voice that has been repeatedly chanting the lyrics ("The prime time of your life / Now / Live it") then says the song title once more, only the I sound in "life" gets stretched out for a good 20 seconds and gradually dissolves into the beat.
- The opening guitar section in "Fresh" ends with a note that is held out for quite a long time as the song's beat fades in.
- Intercourse with You: "Get Lucky". The funny thing is that almost no one knew the song's meaning... yet.
- The Invisible Band: They've made a habit of never appearing in-person in their videos; in addition, they always wear full-body costumes at every public appearance, including live performances. Occasionally though, you might get a quick cameo of their signature helmets, such as on a shelf in the video for "Instant Crush", or formed up as nebulae in the video to The Weeknd's "I Feel It Coming" (which they're featured in).
- Kayfabe Music: Their personae as a couple of robots.
- Large Ham: T-Bang. In The Brainwasher: I AM... THE BRAAAAIIIINWAAAAASSSSSHHHHHHEEEEEEEEEERRRRRRRRR!
- Last Note Nightmare:
- "Contact" starts normally but gradually gets consumed by unnerving noise and distortion. The final minute or so of the song is nothing but distortion.
- "The Prime Time of Your Life", although the nightmare starts halfway through the song and continues to the end. The song's beat slowly gets faster until it becomes an unnerving mechanical whir.
- Lens Flare: The clip for "Robot Rock" is full of those.
- Lighter and Softer: Random Access Memories is lighter musically, though not entirely thematically.
- Limited Lyrics Song: This band seems to like this trope quite a bit.
- "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" (Not all of the lyrics are sung in each verse.)Work it harder, Make it better
Do it faster, Makes us stronger
More than ever, Hour after hour
Our work is never over
- "Lose Yourself to Dance" repeats the same verse about 4 times over the course of the 6 minute song. Pharrel Williams is singing the lyrics, but Daft Punk adds some extra lines later into the song as background lyrics.I know you don't get a chance to take a break this often.
I know your life is speeding, and it isn't stopping.
Here, take my shirt and just go ahead and wipe off all the sweat. Sweat. SWEAT.
LOSE YOURSELF TO DANCE!
LOSE YOURSELF TO DANCE!
LOSE YOURSELF TO DANCE!
LOSE YOURSELF TO DANCE!
- "The Brainwasher" qualifies as well.I AM THE BRAINWASHER!
I AM THE BRAINWASHER!
- Also, "Robot Rock".Rock, Robot rock!
Rock, Robot rock!
- "The Prime Time of Your Life". At least, for the first half.THE PRIME TIME OF YOUR LIFE.
- "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" (Not all of the lyrics are sung in each verse.)
- List Song: At least two.
- "Teachers", from Homework, is a list of musicians that are their influences, all described as being "in the house".DJ Hell
Dr. Dre's in the house, yeah
Omega in the house...
- "Technologic", from Human After All, lists things that can be done with technology, most ending in "it".Buy it, use it, break it, fix it, trash it, change it, mail, upgrade it
Charge it, point it, zoom it, press it, snap it, work it, quick, erase it...
- "Teachers", from Homework, is a list of musicians that are their influences, all described as being "in the house".
- Live Album: Alive 1997 and Alive 2007.
- Looped Lyrics: Many of them. In particular, most of Human After All.
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Usually their output ranges from 1 to 4. However, some of their songs on Human After All are as heavy 6 to 8, and a few tracks on Homework, and their work on Yeezus, can range from 9 to 11.
- Mondegreen: There has been many a speculation on what the looped lyric in "Superheroes" is. Guesses include "Love is in the air", "Up in the air", "Look in the air", "Go through the air", "Throw guns in the air", and "Cum is in the air". The correct answer is "Something's in the air", and it's probably easier to spot if you listen to the sample where it came from.
- Mood Whiplash: The entirety of Human After All, which switches between upbeat and energetic rock and offsetting and disorienting electronica noise. Made even worse with "Make Love" and "Emotion", two extremely calm and almost saddening tracks that sound more fitting to be on a lusher album like Discovery, and not such an abrasive album like Human.
- Motorcycle Jousting: This is the theme of the music video for "Derezzed"; a fictional videogame of this nature.
- New Sound Album: Every album they've done since Homework.
- Homework is techno or house with funk influences.
- Discovery has more synthpop and dance-pop influences.
- Human After All
It’s one tiny speck of goodness in a failing universe.
Earlier this week we celebrated the 20th anniversary of Homework with the greatest Daft Punk-related mix of all time, an era-spanning journey through some of the robots’ biggest influences, from Luke Slater and Lil Louis to Tangerine Dream and Tron.
After piecing together that mix – the third volume of his ‘Teachers’ series in tribute to Daft Punk’s early inspirations – DJ and dancefloor historian CK realised that he still had hours and hours of quality material at his fingertips. So, he tracked down everything he could find on Spotify and built what must be the greatest Daft-Punk related Spotify playlist in existence – this 1018-track monster.
From disco heroes like Cerrone and Giorgio Moroder to ghetto house legends DJ Deeon and DJ Slugo, the mix covers several decades, spanning horror composers Goblin, rap icons Eric B & Rakim, the molten baritone of Isaac Hayes and the ambient house of The Orb, plus much more.
Play it below. You can save it to your Spotify desktop app by pasting the link into the Spotify search bar.
Read next: Here’s what Daft Punk look like without the helmets
Tags: Daft Punk