DAFT PUNK- Random Access Memories.
Daft Punk’s RAM has stirred up some mixed reviews since it’s release, but what is undeniable is their ability to be diverse within their composer/arranger/producer parameters. Let’s face it, the album still has it’s crosses to bear, like the slight over use of vocoder and laid back disco riffs, also, there are “desperate” attempts to rehash a modern day dance hit by enlisting the services of Pharrell Williams and Julian Casablancas ,but, there are moments of, not genius or originality, but more “Wow! I didn’t know that was going to happen.”
First and foremost the increased introduction of real drums gives the music a greater dimension and makes room for experiment. Giorgio by Moroder is an acceptianal piece of music that displays Thomas Bangalter’s and Guy-Manuel de Homen-Christo’s ability as focused arrangers, also look out for the Iron Maiden “Number of the Beast” guitar homage at the end, superb. Motherboard gives the listener glimpses of where the Daft Punk guys might be going in further studio albums and Contact is quite simply a superb climax to the album.
Hawkwind- Astounding Sounds, Amazing Music. (1976)
At this point in their career Hawkwind were at a transitional point. Lemmy had been sacked, Nik Turner was on his way out and they were looking for a different direction. So Calvert became the frontman, the heavy-rock was lightened and the Synthesizers were more prominent within the recordings resulting in this more focused record. If you are a Daft Punk fan then start with City of Lagoon, The Aubergine That Ate Rangoon, Chronoglide Skyway and The Dream of Isis, but please do not overlook the rest of Hawkwind’s catalogue because they still remain to this day one of the most influential electronic/heavy rock music acts in history.
Giorgio Moroder- From Here To Eternity (1977)
Throughout their career Daft Punk have always emphasized how much of an influence Giorgio Moroder is to them, so much so that they dedicated a full song to him and his genius on their new album RAM. From Here to Eternity was released straight after the success of, probably the quintessential electro-disco pop hit, I Feel Love and displays Giorgio’s ability as one of the greatest arrangers and composers of our time. Daft Punk fans will eat up his displays of synth pads, early techno bass hooks and music sequencing.
Space – Magic Fly (1977)
Daft Punk are basically the more successful reincarnation of 1970’s French Dance trio “Space”. Their DNA is so similar that even their presence is scarily similar. The artwork for their 1977 debut Magic Fly features all three members in futuristic robotic attire, boasting a certain anonymous appearance. The album is visionary and the last track Carry On, Turn Me On could live within the RAM album and never raise any suspicion of being an imposter.
Steve Hillage – Green (1978)
If, like many, you were mesmerized by the Daft Punk tracks “Aerodynamic” and “Digital Love”, where electronics were fused with progressive, metal-esque guitar licks and you would like to hear something similar, then you need not look any further than British progressive rock musician Steve Hillage and his fourth studio album Green. Released in 1978 and produced by Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason, the album is a tour de force in the progressive electronic/rock movement. Steve Hillage still remains a huge influence, not only within the rock community, but also within the alternative dance community and in the early 1990’s he launched the ambient dance act System 7. He also was a key figure in introducing the Dance Scene to the Glastonbury festival.
Vangelis – Blade Runner (original recordings released in 1994)
Although an orchestral version of the Blade Runner soundtrack was released in 1982 by the New American Orchestra, it wasn’t till 1994 when the original recordings resurfaced and still to this day they possess futuristic mystifications. Vangelis triumphs with this atmospheric electronic masterpiece. It also plays a huge part in creating the films noir objectiveness. Along with Giorgio Morodor, Vangelis’s back catalogue inadvertently acts as a blue print to some of Daft Punks work, above all the Tron Legacy soundtrack.
Queen – Hot Space (1982)
After the accidental success of Another One Bites the Dust in America, Queen decided to steer slightly in a disco funk direction for their next studio album. Although the album was received with hostility by Queen’s hardcore fans, the electronic funk quality in some of the songs is undeniably brilliant. Daft Punk fans will instantly relate to tracks like Staying Power, Back Chat, Body Language and Cool Cat.
David Bowie -Lets Dance (1983)
Thirty years prior to Daft Punk collaborating with former Chic member and producer Niles Rodgers, Bowie had done the same. After his artsy period in Berlin in the late 70’s, Bowie was looking to make some hits, so, after a chance meeting in a bar he enlisted the services of Rodgers as producer and the outcome was this groovy, more conventional and successful collection of songs. Stand out tracks are Modern Love , Let’s Dance, China Girl.