Published Apr 19, 2013Here's the latest in the steady stream of information to emerge from the Daft Punk camp regarding the new album, Random Access Memories. The celebrated electronic duo of Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo spoke with French publication Obsession about the album, and gave a track-by-track breakdown of what we can expect.
The only catch is that the interview was in French. SoundStyle [via Hypetrak] put the interview through Google Translate, and we attempted to clean up the wording a bit further. Even if the translation isn't perfect, the interview includes plenty of interesting insights into the sounds and inspirations behind the album. It's also not entirely clear who's giving the quotes, but we're guessing it's the more talkative Bangalter (aka the silver-helmed one).
Scroll to the bottom of the page to hear the single "Get Lucky," which officially premiered last night (April 18) at midnight.
Random Access Memories is out on May 21 via Columbia Records/Daft Life Limited.
Head to the next page for Daft Punk's track-by-track breakdown of Random Access Memories. 1. "Give Life Back to Music" (ft. Nile Rodgers [guitar], Paul Jackson Jr. [guitar])
"One of the ambitions of this disc is to provide both something light and elegant. Here is John Robinson Jr., who plays drums [on the] Off the Wall album by Michael Jackson. What's great in a performance like his is the infinity of possible shades: something we had not used with the electronic programming... Discs produced by Quincy Jones have always fascinated us by their precision that has never been achieved by any technology whatsoever. It's a little basic difference between Thriller and Bad. In the latter, the securities are of a very high level, but the performances are less nuanced."
2. "The Game of Love"
"We sing with vocoders. At a time when human voices are processed to become robotic, we found exciting to make a more humane as possible robotic voice. The idea of artificial intelligence approaches the man... An emotion of something that is not human but tries to be."
3. "Giorgio by Moroder" (ft. Giorgio Moroder [synth])
"We met [Giorgio Moroder] several years ago and has always been for us a kind of mythical figure, a little mysterious. His personal journey following the music. The idea came to us a little bit of a documentary based on an interview we conducted. The voice of Giorgio Moroder was recorded with multiple microphones several different times … So we finally recorded about three hours of interviews in which he recounts his life as a musician. This piece is a metaphor for musical freedom: we have always tried to break down the barriers between genres, between good and bad taste, the stuff connected and unconnected. Giorgio is a bit of a model of this kind. He was born in a small provincial town, began studying music in hotel lounges, was the opening act for Johnny Hallyday, started doing stuff progressive rock. To hear him say, at 72 years old, 'Ah, I made electronic music forty years ago,' it's fascinating."
4. "Within" (ft. Gonzales [piano])
"Gonzales plays the piano on the song. He's a friend and a great pianist, one of the best musicians of his generation. 'Within' is one of the first songs we recorded. It is very minimal: a little rhythm section, bass, piano. Create the most with very little, this is the idea behind this title."
5. "Instant Crush" (ft. Julian Casablancas [vocals])
"Julian Casablancas of the Strokes sings this. We are both great fans and we learned that he wanted to meet us. It was this demo that was lying around, he came, he listened... and he has a kind of gift. We, basically, we love rock and the concept of the rock band, but there were so many strong things that the emergence of a new voice at one point became difficult. Recently, the Strokes and MGMT — with dimensions and sensitivities — succeeded. Julian has a punk rock side, a super strong emotional impact in its melodies. It was important to have this album to feel surrounded by our contemporaries."
6. "Lose Yourself to Dance" (ft. Nile Rodgers [guitar], Pharrell Williams [vocals])
"This piece is the simplest definition of our desire: an album that was very simple with bass, drums, guitar — and robots! This is the opposite of something overproduced. Our fantasy was to redo the dance music with drums... The record that way has brought us enormous satisfaction, we are proud that it is a real drums on the album and not canned rhythms. There are two drummers on the disk: John Robinson Jr., who holds the record for the most recorded drummer in the world, and Omar Hakim, who started with Stevie Wonder at 16 years old…"
7. "Touch" (ft. Paul Williams [vocals and lyrics])
"This piece is the crux of the album. It is the starting point of the entire disk that from a meeting with Paul Williams. A sound engineer we know we presented Paul Williams [composer of film music, including Phantom of the Paradise and actor], who visited us in the studio. From this meeting was born something very cinematic, very narrative. 'Touch' clearly defines the psychedelic aspect of Random Access Memories. This piece has 250 tracks, so this is the most complicated, the most crazy."
8. "Get Lucky" (ft. Nile Rodgers [guitar], Pharrell Williams [vocals])
"Pharrell Williams sings this song; he was natural to invitation for our album. He is a born complete performer who produces a lot of elegance. He has not always had the opportunity to show he could be a great singer, so that we can include him in the pantheon of legendary performers. There is no imaginary line that separate the great artists of the past and present who are all worse than before. We wanted to give the impression of being in a capsule in the studio, isolated from the world. One can believe in 1978, but our idea is to travel this music in the present and in the future, see what happens and see if this enthusiasm is contagious."
9. "Beyond" (ft. Paul Williams [lyrics])
"Another piece done with Paul Williams, who wrote the lyrics. It is a cosmic super song with very poetic lyrics and very pure. We talked a lot with Paul Williams about the direction of this album, and it was worth it to put words to our ideas."
"A futuristic piece, which could be the year 4000 …"
11. "Fragments of Time" (ft. Todd Edwards [vocals])
"Our reunion with Todd Edwards after Discovery.
12. "Doin' It Right" (ft. Noah Benjamin Lennox [vocals])
"The angelic voice is Panda Bear [of Animal Collective]. We love what he's doing solo, as well as the approach of his group. This piece — the only electronic song on the album — is the last recorded. The result is a kind of relaxation. Probably the song that is at once the most futuristic and contemporary."
13. "Contact" (ft. DJ Falcon)
"A piece made with DJ Falcon and with a voice recorded during the last mission of NASA's Apollo 17; it is that of Captain Eugene Cernan, the last man to have gone to the moon. It is a voice that literally in space. And it speaks for itself…"