This is the first release by the original line up of Daft Punk. It was immediately cemented as a classic album in the EDM scene and marked a crossover point for the genre into the mainstream of music. How does it sound and fare? Let’s find out.
Daftendirekt begins our trip into house land, with a looped vocal sample edited. Then beats kick off this super catchy piece. It was 1997 – EDM was not yet as mainstream as today and better releases of a more independent nature such as this were being made. Some semi Acid House sounds are gradually added to this piece. Get up and dance, there is no reason not to with this album.
WDPK 83.7 FM is a very short piece showcasing more sonic grooves from the album by Daft Punk before launching into the next piece. Still essential, however.
Next is Revolution 909, an obvious reference to The Beatles. It begins with a humourous intro with police breaking up a party where Daft Punk is being played, before launching into a super funtastic house groove. The party has just begun here, all you need is all your friends to blast this album with. Drugs and alcohol are optional, but not necessary to listen to this awesome homework by Daft Punk. It is a good sober listening experience as well.
After that, we have cars honking in the street, followed by the next track named Da Funk. It is a slower and more beat-heavy sounding piece. There are wah-wah fuzz melodies throughout, perhaps inspired (strangely enough) by Jimi Hendrix. Regardless, another killer track and sounds amazing, even today. The sound here is infectious. It fades out into oblivion.
Phoenix is named after the legendary bird. It starts off with a bare kick drum and percussion. It builds up gradually to a climax and a brilliant European House music melody. Much like everything before it, it sounds wonderful and amazing. Daft Punk can make great tunes, surpassing most EDM of the time. A very good listen.
Fresh begins with the sound of rushing sea waves into a shore, before going into what sounds like a processed guitar sound. It reaches an almost feedback like sound before the fresh beats and melodies come in. A wonderful and epic listen. This is for the fun nights out, ladies and gents. The 1990s was a really great time to be alive, at least on a musical level. Awesome tunes are aplenty. The tune fades out as dramatically as it came in.
The next tune is Around The World. It’s a crowd-pleaser no doubt. It starts off as a rather typical House music piece. It then has a robotic vocal sample to keep the track going. Ingenious and inventive, Daft Punk are excellent at making fresh and inspired music. The only downer? It is a little repetitive this track, but not boring like the main release of the time, Oasis’s Be Here Now. It flows rather nicely regardless.
We then follow into Rollin’ And Scratchin’ which has a sort of synchronised beat banging at the beginning, before going into a strange-sounding piece, perhaps influenced by fellow contemporaries The Chemical Brothers. It’s more IDM than EDM but still fits the album well. It is an unusual track here, but still very Daft Punk, in an original way. It is a bit too long, a rethink of this tune may have helped it.
Teachers is a far better tune which has a double-tracked pitch-shifted vocal revealing Daft Punk’s influences. Indeed, it is rare to hear such a devoted shoutout to musicians who are hugely influenced throughout the history of music. Most musicians tend to suffer from egotistical bouts of narcissistic behaviour, but not Daft Punk. Great stuff. Sounds funky as well.
High Fidelity continues the musical theme of the last track and has great beats, vocal samples and even a touch of a saxophone. It is really classy stuff, and it is a great EDM head rush. Great for a long drive or a night out at the boozer, just brilliant stuff, once again. Inventive and top-notch. This is the real 1990s here.
Next along is Rock’n Roll. It’s not anything like rock music whatsoever, just merely a phrase chucked into Daft Punk’s album for this song title. It’s a little weird for a Daft Punk number, but still very much done in the sonic template of the rest of this album. Easy to skip if you are listening to this album as it becomes quite unbearable listening after a while. Daft Punk should have dropped this one off the record regardless.
Following is Oh Yeah. A much better track than what came directly before it, it has a basic Hip Hop groove set to the Daft Punk sound. A funky sort of listening experience, it is a welcome relief here to hear something just simple and fresh. More basic in structure, it is another good piece.
Burnin’ is next. It starts off with similar sounds before it on the album and slowly builds up an interesting groove with watery sounds and Acid House textures. It’s a semi-psychedelic and interesting listen. Once again, it is reminiscent of the work of The Chemical Brothers. Without warning, the beats and bassline kick in, and you are free to dance along. Great stuff. It melts into a siren sound and a huge array of built-up and distorted sounds. Once again, rather lengthy and repetitive, but that is forgivable.
Indo Silver Club is a more straightforward number to listen to. It is a well crafted and more chilled listen than some of the other sections of the album. Still sounds great, many years after its release. In fact, the whole album does. It goes progressive in the middle, to re-emerge with the primary melody. Epic stuff.
The next number is Alive. It starts slow but builds up into a great groove and texture laden piece for you to sink your teeth into. It has a very addictive, yet repetitive sound about it. It’s a straightforward House number, not bad as we head towards the end of this album.
Lastly, we have the backwards tapes of Funk Ad from an earlier tune on the album, up to you to listen to the album and guess which one it is. Perhaps these guys were trippers? Whatever the reason this was put on, it is a surprising ending to a great album.
All in all, this album is a keeper. The melodies and structure of the music here on this album are out of this world. It is not your average EDM rubbish with a six-month lifespan, this is Daft Punk: a great musical force under one name. Daft Punk had a very good start with this album, which is very good indeed. Well done guys, you did your Homework.