Live albums by EDM artists don’t make a great deal of sense, but this release really works.
Originally released as a fan-club only download in 2001, the album presents an uninterrupted (except when you flip the record over, obviously) 45-minute set from the Daftendirekt tour in support of their Homework debut, complete with whoops and cheers from the attendant punters.
Recorded, bizarrely, in Birmingham of all places, the tour dates throw up a couple of surprises for what became a globally successful duo. The tour started in Manchester, at the Academy – a venue I know like the back of my hand – and took in such glorious locations as Hanley, Leeds and Nottingham. It’s difficult to imagine Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo in any of these places, where presumably they frequented pubs and kebab shops to fuel them on their tour.
In fact, I probably prefer this album to Homework itself, which I have always felt a bit dry and a bit too Detroit. In fact, this set is so good, my 4-year old just said “Daddy, this music is making my bottom dance!”
This album was bought for me by my Irish girlfriend, and that thing they always say about long-distance relationships is true. It also doesn’t help when her father dislikes you purely for being English. Talk about a hurdle to overcome! There’s a sticker on the back of this record that states ‘This item is reserved for MS CATHY MURPHY, No address supplied’, and I’ve kept it on there as a reminder of my frequent visits over to Wexford.
I can’t remember why Cathy bought it for me – I presume it was my birthday – but I was definitely in to Daft Punk at the time. I think I already had their first album on vinyl, something I bought not to long after I found the 12” for Around The World – an early DJing tool of mine. Homework, the debut album, is a little too Detroit for my liking – the singles are good, but a lot of the album tracks are repetitive knock-offs, pointless to listen to unless you’re in a club.
Discovery is a step forward, towards a more disco-oriented sound. They also seem to have spent a bit more time crafting the album, although it does outstay its welcome near the end of its sixty minute running time.
This was probably the last I heard of Daft Punk until I heard the Tron soundtrack. I sidestepped 2005’s Human After All – I think I had outgrown dance music by that point – and thought their star had faded. The music in Tron is undoubtedly the best part of the film (and I love their little cameo, even though it could be two stage hands in those helmets), and is a great taster to their return to form on this year’s Random Access Memories.
I can’t remember buying this. I definitely remember buying the 12” of Around The World, which was always something I’d play first when DJing, while I sorted everything out in the booth; but this always seems to have been in my collection.
There are some tunes on this album – the aforementioned Around The World is probably the best known, but Da Funk is probably the other one most people know. Like most ‘House’ music, it’s hardly something you’d put on the record player and chill out to – it’s meant to be played loud, and preferably in a club.
I remember at some point buying the DVD – or was it the VHS? – of the music video collection that accompanies this album. Those videos probably go some way to explain how much Daft Punk were in the zeitgeist when they first came out. If you can get music videos made, of your two best songs, by people like Michel Gondry and Spike Jonze, you must be doing something right.