Daft Punk is one of the most popular electronic bands ever (along with Kraftwerk, Yellow Magic Orchestra and a few others). Formed in 1993 by Frenchmen Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, they basically invented French House music (well, they haven't invented it, but at least they established a lot of its elements and exposed them to a wider audience) and have done much to make electronic music mainstream.They have released four albums so far (as well as a number of remixes, a film score or two, two different movies, and a bunch of other side projects). Homework, Discovery and Random Access Memories are pretty much universally loved, while Human After Allisn't. There's also two live albums full of mashing and mixing of their songs too, entitled Alive 1997 and Alive 2007.They've released a number of extremely popular singles, such as "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger", "Around the World", "Technologic", "Revolution 909", "One More Time" and "Get Lucky". They've been sampled numerous times, most noticeably "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" by Kanye West for his song "Stronger".The duo are also the embodiment of The Faceless, having spent the bulk of their careers shrouded in secrecy and (save for several publicity photos taken early on in their careers and a leak or two) never being photographed without some form of mask over their faces. Their most famous masks of course, being their robot masks which have come to be known as their "faces" to the general public.They also pull off one of the best live shows in existence by mashing and mixing together their songs... while playing in an LCD screen pyramid in front of a glowing honeycomb. And dressed as robots. (No, really, see foryourself.)They collaborated with the legendary Leiji Matsumoto to create an animated film out of their album Discovery called Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem. They also created a surealistic art-house film called Daft Punk's Electroma, which basically tells the origin of their robotic alter egos. As well as appearing and doing promos and ads on The Toonami block of Cartoon Network in the early 2000s which aired videos of their songs during Midnight Runs.They also provided the score for TRON: Legacy. They do appear in the movie as the personified versions of media player programs.They also contributed eleven mixes for the Guitar HeroSpin-Off, DJ Hero, as well as being playable characters in the game. Two of these mixes are "Another One Bites Da Funk" and "We Will Robot Rock You".In January 2013, it was revealed that Daft Punk had signed to Sony Music Entertainment (through Columbia Records) and that a new album, Random Access Memories, would be released in May 2013. Its first single, "Get Lucky", features singer/producer Pharrell Williams and Chic guitarist Nile Rodgers. It's also now their biggest hit in their entire career, reaching number one in France, Australia, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, the UK and U.S. Random Access Memories itself was praised to high heaven by critics for being original and innovative as well as appealing highly to casual listeners. The album gave Daft Punk five Grammy awards in 2014, including Album of the Year and Record of the year for "Get Lucky", giving them seven total Grammys.Todd Edwards co-produced and provided the vocals for "Face to Face" and "Fragments of Time".Later in the same year, the duo produced four tracks ("On Sight", "Black Skinhead", "I Am a God", and "Send It Up") for Kanye West's new album, Yeezus. They also contributed in Pharrell Williams' second album, ''G I R L", where they did the vocals of the track, "Gust of Wind"
Daft Punk provides examples of the following tropes:
Aerith and Bob: Their names are Guillaume Emmanuel ("Guy-Manuel") de Homem-Christo... and Thomas Bangalter.
Album Title Drop: Almost. "Fragments of Time" from ''Random Access Memories" mentions "random memories".
Earn Your Happy Ending: After many years in the business, Daft Punk finally got a US Top 40 hit with 2013's "Get Lucky". The thing is, a veteran music act scoring its first Top 40 hit in the 2010s is almost unheard of. In fact, the last time this happened was with Weezer and "Beverly Hills". And that was in 2005. And to top it off, "Get Lucky" would win Record of the Year and Random Access Memories would win Album of the Year at the 2014 Grammys. (Though the Grammys have no problem recognizing veteran music acts.)
Epic Instrumental Opener: Inverted on Alive 2007. It starts with two voices chanting "ROBOT" and "HUMAN" back and forth at each other, getting faster and faster, before segueing into the largely-instrumental "Robot Rock".
"Giorgio by Moroder" and "Touch" from Random Access Memories are over 8 minutes long and go through several musical styles.
The Faceless: The duo are famous for their refusal to allow ANYONE to see their true faces. Even before the started wearing their robot helmets, when they were just two French Guys™ during their first tour, they were described as "incredibly shy," which might have something to do with the helmets.
Interviews are a mixed bag. The two did interviews promoting Daft Punk's Electroma with hoods over their heads, and during the pre-production of TRON: Legacy, they actually met the Director at a Los Angeles pancake house ... while wearing their robot suits! On the other hand, for a GQ profile promoting Random Access Memories they were without their robot suits and were able to blend in public perfectly.
A new helmetless picture was posted to Facebook by another electronic band, The Knocks, in June 2013. They were ultimately forced to take it down, though the image is still visible.◊
The first few songs from Homework all fade into each other.
Discovery has only a few noticeable song breaks throughout the entire album. (Incidentally, a remix of "Aerodynamic" on the album Daft Club, "Aerodynamic (Daft Punk Remix)", though not an example but likely meant to take this further, takes the lyrics of "One More Time" and adds them to "Aerodynamic", with the two having been examples of the previously mentioned trope originally.)
Being a live DJ set, Alive 2007 is chock full of these.
Fun Personified: As can be seen in the quote above, they take the enjoyment of their fans very seriously. Their iconic robot look is a way for fans to immerse themselves into the music.
Fun with Acronyms: A DVD of the music videos for Homework was released with the title D.A.F.T.: A Story About Dogs, Androids, Firemen and Tomatoes. Aside from spelling "Daft", this references elements of the videos themselves — Charles, the anthropomorphic dog main character in "Da Funk" and "Fresh", the robots in "Around the World", the firefighters in "Burnin'", and the tomatoes in "Revolution 909".
Genre Roulette: Random Access Memories, while listed as "Pop" on iTunes, toys around with many different genres and genre influences between songs. "Give Life Back to Music", "Lose Yourself to Dance" and "Get Lucky" are disco, while other songs like "Giorgio by Moroder" and "Contact" are more influenced by electronica, though with some live instrumentation. "Doin' it Right", and "Fragments of Time" fall squarely into soft rock, while "Instant Crush" is a more electronic take on the alternative rock music of singer Julian Casablacas in The Strokes.
Genre Throwback: While Daft Punk have always toyed with this idea, Random Access Memories was the first time that they actually sounded like their heroes from The Seventies. The album features Nile Rodgers of disco band Chic and Giorgio Moroder (disco producer most known for creating Donna Summer's best works). The session musicians used for the album were given music by Electric Light Orchestra, Supertramp and Michael McDonald as reference points, and it shows.
Hell-Bent for Leather: During their Human After All era, the duo was most frequently seen wearing leather jackets and pants.
Heterosexual Life-Partners: The duo has known each other since grade school and are seemingly the closest of friends after all these years. There's a big d'awww factor in that as well. Case in point, when they won the Best Album award at the 2014 Grammys, the first thing the robots did was hug each other for a good few seconds before heading onstage.
There's a reason the first album was called Homework. Further, one of the songs on Human After All is called "Robot Rock" — Kraftwerk's preferred term for techno.
"Teachers" is this. It's a List Song of Daft Punk's influences as musicians.
Both Discovery and Random Access Memories can be seen as a Homage to the music of the late 70s and early 80s, but the two albums take very different approaches. Discovery makes extensive use of samples of disco and post-disco songs, while Random Access Memories uses a live band and vintage electronics to recreate the original sound.
"Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" (Not all of the lyrics are sung in each verse.)
Work it harder, Make it better Do it faster, Makes us stronger More than ever, Hour after hour Work is never over
"Lose Yourself to Dance" repeats the same verse about 4 times over the course of the 6 minute song. Pharrel Williams is singing the lyrics, but Daft Punk adds some extra lines later into the song as background lyrics.
I know you don't get a chance to take a break this often. I know your life is speeding, and it isn't stopping. Here, take my shirt and just go ahead and wipe off all the sweat. Sweat. SWEAT. LOSE YOURSELF TO DANCE! LOSE YOURSELF TO DANCE! LOSE YOURSELF TO DANCE! LOSE YOURSELF TO DANCE!
Mind Screwdriver: Each individual group of dancers in the "Around the World" video represents each instrumental part. The large men in tracksuits represent the bass, the skeletons represent the guitar, the mummies represent the drum machine, the "disco girls" represent the keyboard, and the robots represent the vocal track.
Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Usually their output ranges from 1 to 4. However, some of their songs on Human After All are as heavy 6 to 8, and a few tracks on Homework, and their work on Yeezus, can range from 9 to 11.
Motorcycle Jousting: This is the theme of the music video for "Derezzed"; a fictional videogame of this nature.
Red Oni, Blue Oni: As seen in their interviews, Thomas, as the Red Oni, does most on the talking and is very expressive and mischievous while Guy-Man, as the Blue Oni, doesn't talk much and is very reserved and shy.
Rock Opera: Discovery, sorta. It's the soundtrack for Interstella 5555, which is told entirely through that album. It makes no sense as an opera without the movie, though.
Sampling: As is par for the course, given their genre.
Notable examples include Breakwater on "Robot Rock", Billy Joel on "High Fidelity" and "Fresh", Barry Manilow on "Superheroes", and lots of other 70s disco, funk, R&B, and soul artists. The most high-profile case of Daft Punk themselves being sampled is probably Kanye West's "Stronger". "Robot Rock" is also a very popular track for up-and-coming rap talent to freestyle over, as well.
This video shows most if not all of the songs that were sampled in the making of Discovery.
Random Access Memories notably contains only one sample during "Contact".
Daft Punk appear as themselves in a cameo in Intestella 5555 at a music awards ceremony, where they lose to the main characters. In case you don't get the significance of that, in a 65 minute video (opening and credits included), they have a five-second cameo, and then they lose to a fake band playing their music.
In a vein similar to the Interstella 5555 cameo, the band make a blink-and-you'll-miss-it appearance on the TV screen in "The Prime Time of Your Life" among clips of societal ills. Given the nature of the clips shown on the TV and their effect on the protagonist, this instance of Self-Deprecation is more grim than some other examples.
Discovery closes with a 10-minute-long track named "Too Long".
They had this sentence regarding Random Access Memories.
Guy-Man: So our new album is supposed to really suck.
The autobiography-cum-song "Giorgio by Moroder", in which Moroder himself speaks about his music career.
From "Revolution 909": "STOP THE MUSIC AND GO HOME! I REPEAT, STOP THE MUSIC AND GO HOME!"
Stealth Pun: Clocking in at exactly 10 minutes, "Too Long" is the longest studio song the duo has ever recorded.
Throw the Dog a Bone: The anthropomorphic dog, Charles, who just couldn't catch a break and ended up separated from his Love Interest, Beatrice, in the "Da Funk" video, is shown to have a successful acting career and having reconnected with Beatrice in the "Fresh" video. Daft Punk specifically made this sequel to cheer up people who thought Charles' original fate was depressing.