Daft Punk – Homework - Classic Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Daft Punk – Homework

by Florian Meissner Rating:10 Release Date:1997-01-20
Daft Punk – Homework
Daft Punk – Homework

Daft Punk are a staple in modern electronic music. Their work is loved all over the world, and they have single-handedly put France on the map of important electronic music. Songs like “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger”, or “One More Time”, both of the 2001 album Discovery, as well as the latest single “Get Lucky” – which is already 6 years old by the way – have cemented their place in the hall of fame for poppy electronic music. Everybody has heard at least some of their songs, and every album they ever released got them into the charts not just in France, but in Germany and England as well – and 2013’s Random Access Memories was number one in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, England, France, and the US at the same time.

However, when it comes to their discography, one album is often forgotten. There’s Discovery from 2001. Human After All, which was released in 2005. And the seminal Randon Access Memories from 2013. There’s one missing there, isn’t it? Well yes, their debut album. Released in 1997, it was titled Homework, and it’s often forgotten because it doesn’t sound like the pop/electro mixture Daft Punk got famous for. Yet this album is an incredible house record, and shouldn’t live a life in the shadows of its successors.

Homework was released at a time when France started to gain more of a name for electronic music all over the world. Think of Jean-Michel Jarre, Air, or Mr. Oizo who all rose to fame with their signature sounds in or around the 1990s. However, Homework wasn’t in the same style. It was grittier, dirtier, more like an underground house album, yet more accessible than Mr. Oizo’s very eccentric style. It was harder than Jean-Michel Jarre, and it missed the poppy edge Daft Punk would become so famous for. But that doesn’t matter, because every song on this album is a hit in its own right – “All killer no filler”, so to say.

The album opens with a skit called “WDPK 83.7 FM”, made to sound like a radio station announcement. “The sound of tomorrow, the music of today, brings you exclusively Daft Punk’s ‘Homework’”, the voice proclaims before the first “real” track, Revolution 909, starts. Throughout the album, Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter keep returning to this theme of the album being presented by a radio station called WDPK 83.7 FM. Most people will probably remember song number three: “Da Funk” opens with the most iconic electronic riff Daft Punk have ever created. And the album just keeps on giving. “Phoenix” is a proper club banger, “Fresh” is the perfect chillout sound for your after-party, and if you put “Around the World” on, you know the dance floor will just explode. “Rollin’ & Scratchin’” is yet another gritty, dark, almost industrial style house song that you expect to hear in the lower two rooms at the Fabric in London. “Teachers” then offers a first look at the more poppy-style sound the two would develop for their next album – although in a very rough form. We could go on track by track, but really what you need to do is get that album, put it on, and turn it UP. Larry Fitzmaurice reviewed this album for Pitchfork in 2018 and called it the duo’s “greatest illusion yet. […] [A] study in contradictions”, and I don’t think you could put it any better. Daft Punk created a timeless piece of music that will make you feel nostalgic, yet futuristic. It’s hard and dark, yet light and dancy. It’s a masterpiece, and it’s a shame it doesn’t get as much credit as it deserves.

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