Mysterious Daft Punk album is ‘coming very soon’
Published: Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Updated: Thursday, March 7, 2013 12:03
If there’s one thing Daft Punk knows, it’s that absence makes the heart grow fonder.
It’s now been eight years since the French electronica-disco masters, Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter, released “Human After All,” their third album. It’s also been six years since the release of “Alive 2007,” an epic career-spanning mashup album derived from their legendary 2007 tour of the same name; and more than two years since their last release – the soundtrack to Disney’s “TRON: Legacy.”
While all of this stuff has aged well (“Human” got a bad rap on release but found love from critics once “Alive 2007” put the tracks in a new light, while their music and cameo were easily the best things about “Tron”), there’s no denying that the two musicians are sorely missed. Tons of electronic music has come out in the meantime, some with direct ties to Daft Punk, like Justice, others blazing new trails like A-Trak and Skrillex. Despite this, much like Simba during Scar’s reign, music fans are waiting patiently for the true kings of the turntable to make their triumphant return.
It’s coming, no doubt. After a year or two of rumblings and false rumors, Feb. 28 brought a revamp of the group’s website, featuring a simple image of the two’s iconic robot helmets split vertically down the middle, a new shiny Columbia logo in the bottom-right corner showing off their new record deal. The plot thickened further during “Saturday Night Live,” when a 15-second commercial featuring the band’s logo, their website image and a sample of an as-of-yet unreleased song quietly aired during a break. By the time Kevin Hart, the host, wished America a good night, rumors and buzz had pushed Daft Punk to the top of Twitter.
So what do we know about this mysterious album? Well, it’s coming very soon. Various sources have all but guaranteed it will be released by the end of May. The “SNL” clip and an extended preview posted on the band’s SoundCloud page on Tuesday sounded an awful lot like a legitimate disco album from the 70s, a killer 15 seconds that reaffirm rumors the band recorded this album completely with live instruments (unlike “Human After All,” famously made with only two guitars and a drum machine). More evidence: Nile Rodgers, a legendary producer known for his early work with disco and producing David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance,” Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” and the B-52s’ “Love Shack,” all massive, career-defining hits, has worked with the duo on album four; he’s likely playing the muted rhythm guitar prominent in the commercial. In February 2012, he tweeted about “teasing out the R&B influences” of the band’s music while presumably recording. Tuesday afternoon brought a more direct tweet: “So I hear tell the new #DaftPunk record is the bomb!”
Aside from roots in disco, a throwback sound and more famous producers and musicians working with Daft Punk (songwriter Paul Williams, famous for the Muppets’ “Rainbow Connection,” and Giorgio Moroder, an Italian producer responsible for Blondie’s “Call Me” and the famed “Top Gun” soundtrack, are confirmed; other rumors mention Animal Collective co-founder Panda Bear), precious little is known about the album. However, judging by the past week’s cryptic events, it’s a safe bet that the curtain will be raised very soon.