Daft Punk is one of the most famous bands in the world, and people don’t always realize it.
When fans of the band hear some of their biggest hits off their Grammy-winning album Random Access Memories, it isn’t uncommon to hear “Hey, another new Pharrell song!”.
Part of the band’s appeal is their anonymity. The French duo, Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter, have attempted to keep their faces out of the spotlight. Literally. It’s easy to find their faces on a google search, but you will never manage to do it by seeing them live or watching a music video.
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter. They don’t need to put a face to the music. The music stands alone, and hip hop artists have taken notice. Take Kanye West, for example. On his album Graduation, Yeezy heavily sampled Daft Punk’s big hit, “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger”. Kanye simply titled it, “Stronger”.
Kanye pays his respects, having the group in his music video.
That’s the big hit that people in the mainstream finally started to notice what was happening with this group (despite being a relative success since 1997).
Since then, the group has worked tirelessly. Their unique, yet changing sound has been something that has kept them relevant. More importantly, their unique, yet changing sound has kept the pop music landscape much fresher than it would be otherwise.
Their best album to date, 2013’s Random Access Memories, has a variety so vast that it makes a Danger Mouse-produced record seem consistent and redundant (for the record, Danger Mouse is my favorite hip hop/music producer).
To an extent, they hit the hip hop world, working with Pharrell Williams on a pair of funk-based tracks. “Get Lucky” was the smash hit, but this one may have been their best.
So, what’s next for Daft Punk? The answer: nobody really knows. It’s very possible that Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter don’t even know, and that may be the most exciting part about them. It’s impossible to guess what their next work is going to sound like. We just know it’ll sound different.