Photo Credit: Ehimetalor Akhere Unuabona (via Unsplash)
As dismal as the past year has been, we now add to the queue of sorrowful events the retirement of the enlivening electronic music pioneers, Daft Punk. Though they will not be producing any more albums as a group, we can still hold our hats at our hearts in hope of some solo work from either of the two members.
Daft Punk was a union of two French musicians in the early 1990s. They had a taste for the manipulation and creation of sounds beyond the acoustic. Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter became part of a wave of French artists that were experimenting with music made using synthesizers, samples, and the art of mixing music. The union between these two individuals culminated in the production of a unique style of electronic music that has commonly been referred to as the “French Touch.” As masters of this genre, Daft Punk enjoyed fame and success as one of the most talked-about purveyors of electronic music of all time.
Their well-deserved recognition was not taken for granted. Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter produced four studio albums, a live album, several singles, and a soundtrack album for the movie Tron: Legacy over just six years.
In addition to producing phenomenal electronic and dance music, Daft Punk have also been known for their insistence on anonymity. Presenting themselves as faceless musicians, and most commonly as robots, Guy-Manuel and Thomas Bangalter have succeeded where many other musicians haven’t. They have achieved success without compromising their personal lives. By maintaining their anonymity into their retirement, Daft Punk have become firmly intertwined with their legacy as ordinary-men-turned-superheroes.
Daft Punk’s presentation of themselves as half-humans, half-robots, have fueled the imagination of their audiences for decades. While emphasizing a focus on their music in place of the lack of personal information, Daft Punk also inspire a mix of fantasy and reality in true escapist style.
As innovators from the era when MTV still played music videos, many longtime fans will mourn the loss of Daft Punk. I for one will always find a kind of solace and peace in their music that no other genre has ever been able to offer me. There is something unique about getting lost in the rhythm of a song that has no lyrics simply because it doesn’t need to. The music speaks for itself. The magic and intrigue that I associate with Daft Punk will endure, as will their legacy in the collective mind of their fans.