Daft Punk

Daft Punk: Who were they before?

Obviously everyone knows who Daft Punk were. The robot helmet wearing duo comprised of Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter started making music together under the Daft Punk name in 1993, but few people may not know that the french house outfit wasn’t their first musical endeavour together.

All the way back in 1992, they formed Darlin’, which was an indie rock trio with Laurent Brancowitz who they found through an advert in the ‘Danceteria’ store looking for a guitarist, after meeting at the Lycée Carnot school. The band was very inspired by the Beach Boys, in which they took the band name directly from the Beach Boys song of the same name. This was to be Homem-Christo and Bangalter’s first taste as musicians, but little did they know that a review of the band’s music would go on to inspire Daft Punk.

Releasing their songs on Duophonic Records, an english record label formed by rock band Stereolab in 1991, their tracks found a home on the ‘Shimmies In Super 8’ compilation where tracks ‘Darlin” and ‘Cindy So Loud’ were brought into the world.

From listening to the track ‘Cindy So Loud’, it couldn’t be more of a polar opposite from what Daft Punk became known for, and this was the track that would inspire their name. A negative review in British magazine Melody Maker called it ‘daft punky thrash’, and thus the duo got inspired by this, ultimately leading Darlin’ to disband, and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter to get to work on creating their latest music venture. Laurent Brancowitz went on to join his brother Christian Mazzalai in the band Phoenix. All three remained friends, and Daft Punk famously joined Phoenix on stage at their Madison Square Garden show in 2010, making it the first time that they had performed since the 2008 Grammy Awards.

Darlin’ isn’t their only venture they’ve made outside of Daft Punk either, as both artists have also enjoyed successful solo careers outside of pairing up together. For Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, he has produced multiple tracks for other artists including the collaboration between Gesaffelstein and The Weeknd titled ‘Lost in the Fire’. He is also a co-founder of the group Le Knight Club. Thomas Bangalter on the other hand has also been a part of other groups apart from Darlin’ and Daft Punk, including Stardust (‘Music Sounds Better With You’, anyone?) and Together. His solo work is also highly acclaimed, providing compositions for films such as ‘Climax’ and ‘Irréversible’. He also owns the label Roulé and has done sound design, cinematography and has directed films.

We are sad to see the duo split, but we hope to hear more from the talented artists whether solo or during other endeavours.

Image Credit: Ehimetalor Akhere Unuabona on Unsplash

A 24 year old dance music enthusiast from Manchester, UK. Lover of all genres, especially dubstep and house. Find me at gigs and festivals across the world.

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