Over the last few years, EDM (electronic dance music) has aggressively been making its mark on pop culture, and for lack of a better phrase "gaining legitimacy." Truth however is this is really nothing new and whether you're a Daft Punk fan or not, you're probably familiar with their influence. They've been making music since the early 90's, LCD Soundsystem has paid homage in song ("Daft Punk is Playing at My House"), and aside from their own hits ("One More Time", "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger") they've been sampled by major pop stars like Black Eyed Peas and Kanye West. Back to their current album, Random Access Memories (Columbia). This collection is beyond impressive. Not only is it a collaborative work with incredible pairings, but Daft Punk decided to record their new album with live instrumentation. As a result it bares more soul, and compromises nothing in terms of intensity, dance-ability, or expansiveness. And where more current EDM performers are often challenged with accessibility, it just happens to be a natural byproduct of what Daft Punk does.
The best case in point is the first single, "Get Lucky." It's an instant summer anthem, before summer has even begun. It's also one of two collaborations on the album with Pharrell Williams. The other "Lose Yourself to Dance" is ...well, the title really says it all. The album opener offers a funky, disco pairing with Nile Rodgers called "Give Life Back to Music." And don't miss the 80's inspired, synth driven collaboration The Strokes Julian Casablancas "Instant Crush". And the beauty of Random Access Memories is that musically there are so many touch-points to 70s/80s dance music, while that signature Daft Punk futuristic vibe is married in the mix so well. The appeal is wide-spread on Random Access Memories, it's amazing fun from start to finish.
~ Mike Vasilikos