Daft Punk is a French electronic music duo that rose to fame in the late 1990s.
Daft Punk: Pre-Daft Punk
In 1987, Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo met at secondary school (Lycée Carnot in Paris) and formed a band with some pupils from the school. The group Darlin' formed in 1992 and consisted of Laurent Brancowitz, Bangalter and Homem-Christo. Named after a Beach Boys song, the indie rock trio's career was brief. The British music paper Melody Maker dubbed the band's music "daft punk" and in doing so handed them the name for their next venture. When Darlin' split, Brancowitz went on to form Phoenix.
Daft Punk: Homework and Beyond
Daft Punk's career was launched when they met Stuart Macmillan (of Slam and Soma Quality Recordings) at a 1993 rave in the grounds of EuroDisney in Paris. They handed Macmillan a demo tape, which became the foundations of their debut single, 'The New Wave', released in 1994.
In 1995, they released 'Da Funk', which became their first commercial success. Looking for a manager, they settled upon Pedro Winter (Busy P), a promoter of Hype nightclubs.
Daft Punk's first two singles were later featured on their debut album, Homework. A mix of electro, techno and house music, the album was considered to be an innovation in dance music. The single 'Around The World' was a huge success for the duo and renowned directors such as Michel Gondry, Spike Jonze and Roman Coppola were drafted in to direct their music videos. The videos were later released as D.A.F.T. - A Story About Dogs, Androids, Firemen and Tomatoes.
In 2001, Daft Punk released Discovery. A slicker, poppier album than their debut, the album reached number two in the UK and 'One More Time' was a massive nightclub success. 'Digital Love' and 'Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger' compounded the duo's success and Daft Punk became one of the most popular dance acts of the time. A section of a 1997 performance in Birmingham was released as Alive 1997.
In 2003, Daft Punk branched out and produced the feature length animation 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem. They worked under the supervision of their hero, Leiji Matsumoto and also released an accompanying album to the film. Daft Club is a collection of remixes that were previously only available via online fan-club membership.
Human After All was released in 2005 and received mixed reviews. The next year, the CD / DVD anthology, Musique Vol. 1 1993-2005 was released, featuring new music videos. Human After All: Remixes was also released about this time and in May 2006, Daft Punk's first directed film, Daft Punk's Electroma saw its debut screening at the Cannes Film Festival. The duo appear in the film, though their music does not, and nor do their faces, as they went to great lengths to hide their identity, as they do onstage, in their iconic robot outfits.
Alive 2007 was released in November 2007 and featured Daft Punk's performance in Paris that year. Pedro Winter stepped down as the band's manager, choosing to focus instead on his own label, Ed Banger Records.
In February 2008, Daft Punk made an appearance at the 50th Grammy Awards, performing a reworking of 'Stronger' with Kanye West.