September 9 [14:00 EDT] -- Parisian House Music dynamic duo Daft Punk is not daft at all, but amazingly adept at their craft.
High school friends, Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel De Homem, ages 22 and 23 respectively, began making techno rhythms in their rooms, perhaps instead of doing their homework. Homework is the title of their debut album, which is taking the club world by tsunami dance storm. Their first two singles, "Da Funk" (250,000 sold units in Europe so far) and "Around The World" are provocative, hip shaking, under the skin compositions.
The video for "Da Funk,"[1.4MB QuickTime] a bizarre mini-movie directed by the one and only Spike Jonze, poses more questions than it answers, which is what turns a meaty visual/audio experience into virtual pop art happening. A six foot tall dog with a broken leg, hobbles around during a New York City night, toting a boom box blaring "Da Funk" in one paw and a crutch in the other.
The video for "Around The World," [1.2MB QuickTime] directed by Michel Gondry (Foo Fighters "Everlong,", Björk "Human Behavior"), unleashes a boppy universe of robotic characters on a futuristic game show set.
Daft Punk prefer to create music behind the scenes, rather than in the unforgiving green glare of the limelight. Luckily for them, it is easy to hide from the press and public behind cleverly constructed, multi-layered, instrumental music. They appear in photos wearing masks (as a pig and an alien) or have their visages distorted. Anonymity is alluring, and the French are experts at the art of allure. Even without faces, they are critical darlings. They don't sample from existing music, but engineer original sounds, which is what brings their innovative dance music to a higher pounding ground. Music that is anything but monotonous. Long live these deft Punks.