Daft Punk are THE pinnacle of the electronic music "around the world", agreeing with the name of one of their songs.
These mysterious and iconic band composed by the sophisticated French duo Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter are, finally, back!
After a (quite-long) hiatus - if you don't recall Daft Punk's last album was Human After All, released in 2005 and without counting with an adventurous trip through the soundtrack world with Tron: Legacy in 2010 - the band returns with Random Access Memories, which is, for sure, the most expected album of the year, or in Randall Roberts from LA Times words: "(...) no doubt be one of the most polarizing records of the year(...)".
The first thing that is extremely exciting with Daft Punk's Random Access Memories is the way they chose to announce and promote this record, following a gradual and exquisite promotional marketing - using resources like billboards, television adversiting, small teasers and a web series, that we would find somehow outdated but it worked for Daft Punk.
Daft Punk are old school, they don't really care about what people expect from them and they surely like to emphasize that.
"Doing it right, everybody will be dancing
and we're feeling it right, everybody will be dancing
and be doing right, everybody will be dancing
and you're feeling all right, everybody will be dancing tonight"
from Doin' Right (feat. Panda Bear)
Random Access Memories, or RAM, shows that Daft Punk continues to be the masters of electronic, using more natural elements, bringing an unconventional and characteristic sound like powerful guitar lines, strong upbeat drums and surprisingly some wind instruments, like clarinets - just to mention some elements that are present on this record.
This "human" side contrasts with the "robotic" life that they tried to bright during the last years, especially with their "masks", performances and their synthesized voices.
This album is peculiar because it pays a beautiful tribute to the late 70's and early 80's of the music scene, particularly the sound from the North American artists, bringing up the sound and spirit of those times.
Another curiosity about RAM is the process of recording which involved, mostly, live instruments with live musicians, limiting the electronics to drum machines, modular synthesizers and vintage vocoders.
The amount of collaborations for this record is really unique, counting with Pharrell Williams, Nile Rodgers, Panda Bear, Julian Casablancas, Giorgio Moroder, Todd Edwards, just to name a few.
One of my favorite things about this record is its consistency along more than 70 minutes. We can experience so many different sensations along the way.
From a melodramatic (in the best possible meaning of this word), and cheesy, The Game of Love, to the curious Within or even the lead single, and probably the most animated song from the record, Get Lucky, we can feel a lot of emotions through out the record and that's really exciting - sometimes we get the most festive version of Daft Punk and, at some point, we are having a melodic memory. That's how talented Daft Punk are!
Without losing their sound and electronic spirit, they show how further and different the electronic music can be and that's the most exciting thing we can get from this RAM.
There are songs that have really blown my mind, thanks to their timeless transcendence like Lose Yourself To Dance with Pharrell Williams, with a touch of bugginess and freedom or Touch by the hands (and vocals) of the legendary singer-songwriter Paul Williams.
The transitions from track to track are just delicious - we can listen to elements of the following song but we only realise it when it ends because we get so caught up and lost in each song's memories.
Must-listen songs: Get Lucky, The Game of Love, Instant Crush and Doin' Right.
Concluding, whatever you think you know about electronic music - Daft Punk will break it. Random Access Memories re-designed, re-created their vision and explored a new perspective, mixing both past and future, creating a really involving, spiritual, vivid and most of all, a Daft Punk vision. With an innovating sound, a record with flaws ( but by flaws I mean a state of imperfection that brings a beautiful and constant aura to the entire RAM idea). And the idea in Daft Punk's Fragments of Time, couldn't be more clear than this:"I'll just keep playing back, this fragments of time".
Mostly and genuinely epic.
The robots are back from good, gladly!