“Daft”, diving into the origins of the French electro phenomenon Daft Punk

Pauline Guéna and Anne-Sophie Jahn return in their book “Daft” to the origins of the phenomenon of the French Touch Daft Punk. A tandem composed of Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem Christo born in 1993 who announced their separation in February 2021.

They met on the morning of February 22, 2021, the day Daft Punk announced their separation through a video posted on YouTube titled “Epilogue”. Despite this twist of fate, Pauline Guéna and Anne-Sophie Jahn still decide to carry out their book project.

In “Daft”, the two French authors recount the beginnings at the dawn of the 1990s of the most famous and mysterious duo of electronic music, from the benches of the Parisian Carnot high school to its metamorphosis into admired and unreachable robots.

A carefree period when, in 1993, Paris danced to the beats of new electronic music. At night, we come across Michel Gondry, Ariel Wizman, Aline Can Dance, DJ Falcon, Didier Lestrade, Sven Love and so many others. We listen to Radio Nova, FG and the Rex mixes. In the bedroom of a duplex, two teenagers experiment on machines and revolutionize sound. They have not yet donned the helmets that will soon conceal their faces.

Unknown, maniacal, mysterious, they want to make young people dance “around the world”. Title of the global hit appearing on the first album of the pioneers of the French Touch, “Homework”, in 1997.

>> To see, the clip of “Around the World” signed Michel Gondry:

“There is a bit of nostalgia in this book, where we revisit an era, a Paris that no longer exists, where we find music only in record stores, where we are obliged to have human ties to find a piece that we heard on the radio, where we connect together while dancing (…) It is also a memory of a world of parties that has changed, of a time a little more carefree”, explain to the RTS Pauline Guéna and Anne-Sophie Jahn.

The cover of the book “Daft” by Pauline Guéna and Anne-Sophie Jahn. [Grasset – DR]“Mystery, talent and precision”

To summarize Daft Punk, the authors use the words “mystery, talent and precision”. Three terms that will propel friends Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem Christo to the firmament of electro. Each chapter of the book “Daft” is carried by a witness who crossed paths with Daft Punk in order to reconstruct their exceptional trajectory like a mosaic.

A story of the first times which thus looks back on the first concerts given at the Fête de la Musique, the first two tracks published on a compilation which earned them the murderous criticism of “idiot punks” on which the duo will skilfully bounce back, before their first international hit “Da Funk” in 1995 that will change the course of music history. Then again evokes this first concert given in a field in Wisconsin and this tight negotiation with the record company Virgin for a contract which determines that it has no right of inspection on their musical creations.

>> To see, the clip of “Da Funk”:

Before their resounding separation last year, the duo had not released a studio album since “Random Access Memories” in 2013, whose single “Get Lucky” in duet with Pharrell Williams was an additional planetary hit. While the disc won five Grammy Awards, including Best Album of the Year. In twenty-eight years of career, Daft Punk has only released four studio recordings, but each time they have sold several million copies.

Interview by Anne Laure Gannac

Adaptation canvas: Olivier Horner

Pauline Guéna and Anne-Sophie Jahn, “Daft”, Editions Grasset.

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