It was 20 years ago this week.

Before they became the robots, before they became mega-selling global artists, before they were known as dance music mavericks to most, and just weeks after they released their seminal debut album Homework in 1997, Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo recorded their first and only Essential mix on March 2nd, 1997.

Have a listen to the entire two-hour mix below which prefaces their domination and bears all the hallmarks of their sound: funk-house, bass-driven disco, ghetto house, French touch, techno and pop melodies. Tunes include Armand Van Hleden, Cajmere, Fantom and aa lot of Daft Punk too.

Daft Punk – 1997 Essential Mix tracklist

01. Daft Punk – WDPK Essential Intro
02. Paul Johnson – Hear The Music
03. Armand Van Helden – Funk Phenomena (Dope Mix)
04. CZR – Chicago Southside
05. Unknown – Git Down Saturday
06. Remix Delux #1 – Dee’s Knots
07. Parris Mitchell – Ghetto Shout Out
08. Daft Punk – Teachers
09. Martin Luther King – I Have A Dream
10. The Godson EP – Drum Patterns & Memories
11. Jammin Gerald – Get The Ho ’94
12. DJ Attack – Da Way U Work
13. Thomas Bangalter – Spinal Beats
14. Thomas Bangalter – Spinal Scratch
15. Tha West Siders – Waxscratch Trax
16. Fantom – Faithfull (Prassay Mix)
17. Fantom – Faithfull (Original Mix)
18. Fantom – Faithfull (Da Cracy Mix)
19. I:Cube – Disco Cubizm (Daft Punk Mix)
20. Daft Punk – Rock ‘n’ Roll
21. DJ Hyperactive – Chicago
22. Daft Punk – Oh Yeah
23. Cajmere – Only 4 U
24. Trankilou – Champagne
25. Unknown – And Da Beat Goes On
26. DJ Funk & Gerald – Hold Up
27. Ween – Freedom Of ’76
28. Zdar + Boombass – Foxy Lady
29. Gusto – Disco’s Revenge
30. DJ Deeon – Deeon Doez Disco
31. Sweet – Somebody’s Watching
32. Da Mongoloids – Spark Da Meth
33. Roller Rink 2000 – Shining
34. Roy Davis Jr. – Gabrielle
35. Robert J. Hairston – Preacher Man
36. Daft Punk – Around The World (Motorbass Mix)
37. Kenny Dixon Jr. – U Can Dance If You Want 2

Posted on March 3rd, 2017

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CK is a Dublin DJ who originally put together a podcast for Bodytonic back in 2011 inspired by Daft Punk’s Homework track ‘Teachers’ in which they shout out to all the masters that came before in the fields of house and techno in particular.

CK went on to expand that in a second mix that features DJ Funk, Derrick Carter, Moroder, Lil Louis, Ashley Beedle, Cajmere, Todd Terry and many more.

With the 20th anniversary of Homework this year, CK who is also responsible for this 1000-song plus Teachers’ Spotify playlist, was recently asked to do another mix for FACT on the same theme, which brings his mixes of Daft Punk inspirations to the hat-trick. Check out the three mixes in the series featuring music from the teachers:

2011 Mix #1

Mix #2

Mix #3

Also of interest, a Daft Punk Homework night in Hangar on February 10th.

Posted on February 2nd, 2017

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An up-to-date selection of music documentaries on Netflix (UK and Ireland) to delve into.


1.

David Bowie: Five Years’

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In the year we lost one of the greatest rock stars and artists of our time, this 2013 BBC documentary looks at a five-specific years that were crucial to Bowie’s legacy. It begins in 1971 with his breakthrough, then onto 1975 with his Young Americans record, onto 1977 when he made Low and Heroes in Berlin then onto 1980’s Scary Monsters and 1983’s Let’s Dance, as produced by Nile Rodgers. There’s interviews, talking heads, archive footage, live footage and visual footage galore.


2.

The Art Of Organised Noize’

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The Atlanta production trio behind some of rap and R&B’s biggest hits of the ’90s. Rico Wade, Ray Murray and Sleepy Brown along with Andre 3000, Puff Daddy, Big Boi, Future and 2Chainz talk about their influence and impact taking in music from Outkast, Goodie Mob, TLC and En Vogue.


3.

I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead

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It’s easy to dismiss dance DJs dunderhead like Steve Aoki right? Huge amounts of money amassed playing dumb stadium EDM shows and throwing cake. Dumb. This documentary gives some genuine insight (though it does feel at times, like Aoki commissioned it) into how a man like Aoki got to where he did. The short-hand: a lot of hard work, and a gruelling tour schedule that means 240 gigs a year or thereabouts (he played the Wright Venue just last week). Aoki started the label Dim Mak off the back off a Tuesday night club night where the likes of Bloc Party and Justice played for free. Aoki was in the right place at the right time – the start of electro-influenced indie-rock, or blog house and he went all in. It worked out pretty well for him and it’s hard to begrudge him after watching this documentary. His relationship with his distant father, a famous wrester and founder of restaurant Benihana, is explored as a main reason for all this and whether that’s true or not it does humanise Aoki as more than a cake-throwing partystarter. The tunes are still shit though.


4.

Janis: Little Girl Blue

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The tragic story of Janis Joplin, who was one of the first members of the 27 club. The raw blues singer died the same year as Jimi Hendrix in 1970 and Amy Berg’s documentary, despite the long time that has passed since her overdose, has a raw emotive quality to it. Berg talks to friends and family about her life and what might have been. There’s plenty of footage of Joplin performing and insights into her early troubled life at school in Texas (which she returns to 10 years later at her reunion with cameras). Joplin was a singer who never really found her place in the world. An existing interest in Joplin will help engage viewing. Cat Power narrates.


5.

I Dream of Wires

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A documentary exploring the modular synthesizer and its impact on music and culture – tracking its rise in the ’60s to its revival. Interview subjects include Trent Reznor, Gary Numan, Vince Clarke (Erasure), Chris Carter (Throbbing Gristle), Carl Craig and its makers and doers.


6.

Rubble Kings

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A 2015 documentary about gangs in New York with in 1970s. Not a music film per se but hip-hop was a prominent reason for the reduction of violence when gang members swapped guns for breaking and music. The soundtrack also features Run The Jewels, Bun B and Ghostface Killah.


7.

The Other One: The Long Strange Trip of Bob Weir

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This film is the story of Weir, the second guitarist with the Grateful Dead. It tells the story of the band and Weir’s relationship with Jerry Garcia, his eventful life and his unique guitar technique. The Grateful Dead are an American curio, not as celebrated on this side of the Atlantic, so if you want to know what the fuss is about, this is a good place to start.


8.

Daft Punk Unchained

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The enigmatic stylish French dance duo explored in style via their closest friends and collaborators including Pharrell Williams, Nile Rodgers, Paul Williams, Giorgio Moroder, Kanye, Michel Gondry and Todd Edwards.


9.

Nas: Time Is Illmatic

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The story of Nasir Jones’ as a rapper begins with 1994’s seminal rap album Illmatic. This richly-shot documentary is as much about the album as it American society’s ills that lead to Jones living as a black kid in New York in the Queensbridge housing project.


10.

The Wrecking Crew

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The fascinating story of a bunch of session musicians who played on records by the Beach Boys, Cher, Phil Spector, The Mamas and the Papas, Nancy Sinatra, The Byrds. Director Danny Tedesco (whose father was a prominent guitarist) looks at what made the crew so indispensable to the recording era of the ’60s in America. The Wrecking Crew were the unsung heroes in the background of pop hits.


11.

What Happened, Miss Simone?

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A documentary exploring one of the best singers of all time Nina Simone. It takes in her life on stage, her involvement in activism (she was closely allied with Martin Luther King), her troubled marriage, her volatile personality and addictions. She was a rare talent and the film leaves you with a mixture of sadness and beauty. Crucial to the documentary is her involvement in the civil movement.


12.

Kurt & Courtney

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Nick Broomfield’s documentary released in 1998 was one of the first to explore just how volatile and dangerous the Nirvana musician and the Hole singer were to each other. It takes in the conspiracy theories around Cobain’s death, that Love was involved in some way. The film includes Love’s attempts at censoring the film project with the pair ending up having a public altercation at ACLU when Broomfield gets up to ask her a question.

See also: Broomfield’s Biggie and Tupac, which is also on Netflix.


13.

Searching For Sugarman

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A fascinating origin story of a musician called Rodriguez who was unknown to most of the world with the exception of a rabid fan base in South Africa, where he was a huge cultural influence. Rumours that he had set himself on fire on stage, committed suicide or shot himself. Everyone thought he was dead. He wasn’t. This film was a rebirth for the artist who went on to tour the world after this 2012 documentary came out (including Dublin’s Vicar Street).


14.

Supermensch

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Shep Gordon was a manager to Alice Cooper, Blondie, Luther Vandross and more. His career began during a a chance encounter in 1968 with Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix, when Hendrix noting he was Jewish said he should manage. So began a life of music and business, as told in this Mike Myers documentary, which paints him as a likeable decent good guy who receives guests in his nice home and enriches the lives of those he is associated with like Michael Douglas. The film also tells how Gordon helped elevate the idea of the celebrity shef in culture.


15.

Finding Fela

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Oscar winner Alex Gibney turns his attention to the Afrobeat legend Fela Kuti explores his life on stage and off. In his home of Nigeria he was a political antagoniser, in his music he mixes jazz, highlife and funk like no one else before or since.


16.

Glen Campbell: Let Me Be Me

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A documentary looking at what happens when a famous revered musician gets Alzheimer’s. This film accompanies the country music legend (‘Wichita Lineman’, ‘Rhinestone Cowboy’) on his farewell tour after discovering he had the disease. It’s a heartbreaking and moving look at one of the greats.


Posted on November 24th, 2016

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There isn’t going to be any more new Beastie Boys music unless we get some version of Hot Sauce Committee Part One.

As a longtime Beasties fan, I’m not sure that has really sunk in yet. But it’s where we’re at. Apart from the odd collaboration like Mike D on Cassius’ ‘Action’ (he also recently appeared with Slaves), that’ll be it from Adrock and Mike.

During the summer I spent a week listening to Beastie remixes (must do a post sometime) so this is right up my street. A couple of years ago, Coin put together a mashup album featuring Beastie Boys raps over Daft Punk beats and it’s been doing the rounds again this week.

It’s a fun listen too. Check It Out is my favourite.

Posted on November 18th, 2016

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Daft Punk have form in doing things in the year that ends in 7.

Alive 1997. Alive 2007. You see where this is going…

A new website http://alive2017.com/ has sparked rumours that the robots are ready to announce some live dates.

Zooming into the site shows a countdown timer that looks to finish on October 27th (confirmed in source code).

In the page’s source, some code suggests the same along with what some have ascertained as co-ordinates for cities on the tour: Paris Los Angeles, London, New York, Tokyo, Sao Paulo, Ibiza and Indio (Coachella).

The tranmission finishes by giving the co-ordinates to Andromeda and a name Shep, perhaps a reference to Interstellar 5555 character.

See all the sleuthing at Randomland.

Posted on October 5th, 2016

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Check out the Irish Independent’s Insider Magazine today for this week’s Spotify playlist – Thursday’s is a Longitude special.


Listen to the Spotify playlist


A Tribe Called Quest – ‘Check The Rhime’

The sound of lazy summer days in the sunshine, Q-Tip and Phife Dogg go laidback to a simple beat. On point Phife.

Patrice Rushen – ‘Forget Me Nots’

Everyone knows this, not because of the original sadly but because Will Smith used the guts of the melody and arrangement for the theme tune from Men In Black.

Blackbyrds – ‘Rock Creek Park’

“Doing it in the park / doing it after dark / oh yeah.” Whatever the Washington funk band were doing in the park in 1975 it sounds fun.

Beach Boys – ‘Good Vibrations’

Brian Wilson and the boys take us to the Californian beach for excitations (Um bop bop).

Donovan – ‘Sunshine Superman’

“Superman or Green Lantern ain’t got a-nothin’ on me.” Sixties psychedelic pop from the man who now lives in Mallow.

The Pharcyde – ‘Runnin’

This J Dilla-produced track by the LA nineties rap group is a true headnodder.

Little Eva – ‘The Locomotion’

“Everybody is doin’ a brand new dance now,” sang Eva in 1962. It’s still likely to incite a dance party 54 years later.

Lulu And The Luvvers – ‘Shout!’

Two years later, pop singer Lulu repeated a similar trick by covering The Isley Brothers hit for a British audience.

Daft Punk – ‘Fresh’

Forget Get Lucky, this track from their 97 debut screams summer with the actual sound of waves lapping the shore and a video of the Da Funk dog on the beach.

David Holmes – ‘My Mate Paul’

A standout from the Belfast’s man’s second album, which presaged his soundtrack work by mixing audio recorded on the streets of New York.

Posted on July 14th, 2014

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Artwork by Fatti Burke.

This is a personal list of the 20 music videos that stuck with me for various reasons, some explained below, some because they are great examples and some because they lifted the song into a new realm. These are my 20 favourites as opposed to my best.


20. Biggles Flys Again – ‘Chambers’

Video by: Colm Russell

A Wes Anderson-style clip of Dublin looking beautiful soundtracks the 28 stages of a relationship breakdown.


19. Grizzly Bear – ‘Gun-Shy’

Video by: Kris Moyles

You won’t thank me for watching this one – it’s a plain weird video featuring Grizzly Bear band members getting various surgical and medical samples taken in an idyllic place to the soundtrack of their gorgeous song.


18. Earl Sweatshirt – ‘Doris’

Video by: Hiro Murai

A dark menacing beat gets a roving urban foreboding video.


17. Lizzo feat. Sophia Eris – Batches & Cookies

Video by: Ryan Kron Thompson

If a video is a designed to introduce to an artist and give you a short time frame in which to “get” them, Lizzo’s video does that all right here. The Detroit MC is just one of those great videos that gives you a snapshot of the artist’s character and does so in a three and a half minute burst of fun. It also lifts the tune which is what any great video does.


16. Fryars – ‘Cool Like Me’ (Original and Mike Skinner remix)l

Video by: Ian & Cooper / Mike Skinner

Two videos for the same song: the original and the remix. The former is the cinematic one, focusing on a cult of body-popping evangelical bell-ringers while the latter for the Mike Skinner remix and also directed by him, is a play on the title of the song, takes pleasure in putting Fryars’ Benjamin Garrett and Mike Skinner as the photobombing background focus of a host of cooler-than-thou people at London Fashion week.


15. Glasser – ‘Design’

Video by: Jonathan Turner

Cameron Mesirow’s Interiors is an album that is inspired by “architecture, a physical imposition in my life, and the fluid emotional boundaries of relationships.” This clip for ‘Design’ fits that aesthetic and the song’s arpeggiated synths and nuanced production.


14. Bob Dylan – ‘Like A Rolling Stone’

Video by: Vania Heymann

The concept is simple. An interactive TV where every station is lip-synching to the Dylan classic.

Watch/interact: http://video.bobdylan.com/


13. Dizzee Rascal – ‘I Don’t Need A Reason’

Video by: Emile Sornin

Video techniques loop like animated GIFs. Brilliantly effective and suitable for the track’s minimal beat.


12. Hozier – ‘Take Me To Church’

Video by: Feel Good Lost

‘Take Me To Church’ is the most complete song from Hozier’s nascent career, a soulful high-spirited track which seeks redemption in the flesh through metaphors around church worship – “if the heaven’s ever did speak / she’s the last true mouth piece”, “i was born sick but I love it / command me to be well”. Andrew Hozier-Byrne is a perfect vessel for that sentiment: his voice also plays on that dichotomy, a gospel-fused and sensual soul instrument.

It’s a clever ploy, playing the incongruous relationship between sex and religion off each other. Fittingly, Feel Good Lost’s black and white video for the track also addresses that issue: by showing what can happen to a gay couple who, in 2013, these modern times, are not recognised by the church and subsequently by prejudiced peers at a time when homophobia is proposed as a law by the Russian authorities. The video has a powerful synergy to it.


11. Arcade Fire – ‘Afterlife’

Video by: Emily Kai Bock

Kai Bock’s ‘Afterlife’ video has a sumptuous dreamy quality that wraps itself around in the song in a cinematic haze.


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Posted on December 17th, 2013

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With the old Italo-disco master receiving props and likely becoming known to a whole new audience thanks to his appearance and track ‘Giorgio By Moroder’ on Daft Punk’s new album, Wriggly Scott put together a primer mix for Dazed featuring tracks from Moroder’s discography and the rap tracks by Cannibal Ox, El-P, DOOM and more he has been sampled in.


tracklisting →

Posted on May 20th, 2013

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If you’re like me you’ve been singing the chorus to this new Daft Punk song for the last week or so (alternating it with “go rub a Mexican monkey” soundalike). The song is now on iTunes. I’m of the opinion that ‘Get Lucky’ is a masterful pop record. A lot of people were crying foul yesterday saying it must be fake and that Pharrell’s vocals were done by somebody else. Clearly, these people were obviously projecting something of their own hopes on the return of Daft Punk being something closer to shake up the world of dance music, that would help rid the tide of poor-quality “EDM” from our Soundclouds and iPods. Instead, ‘Get Lucky’ is just a great pop tune.

For me, getting Pharrell and Nile Rodgers in for their comeback single is a smart move. It indicates that Daft Punk are perhaps happy with making great pop music rather than changing the dance game as they did before. Daft Punk are the elders now. ‘Get Lucky’ is basically a great funk record. I’m sure the kids listening to Trap music probably hate it. And lest we forget their last album proper Human After All was pretty uninspired. Away from the amazing marketing campaign they’ve created, this makes them relevant musically, for now. Random Access Memories, the album is a whole other story.

Posted on April 18th, 2013

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This is great. With Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories on the way on May 17th, The Creators Project talk to dance music pioneer Giorgio Moroder, who takes about his collaboration with the duo on the album and the difference between their perfectionist mode of working and his less-thorough approach. It’s part one of a series so expect Nile Rodgers and Pharrell Williams to get their own in the series.

Posted on April 4th, 2013

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