Year 5, Day 8: Daft Punk – Homework
- WDPK 83.7 FM
- Revolution 909
- Da Funk
- Around the World
- Rollin’ & Scratchin’
- High Fidelity
- Rock’n Roll
- Oh Yeah
- Indio Silver Club
- Funk Ad
About the Album
Homework is the debut album from French electronic music duo, Daft Punk. Recorded from 1993 through 1996, the album was released on January 20th 1997 through Virgin Records and Soma Quality Recordings. The album peaked at number three on the French Albums charts, 150 on the Billboard 200, and number eight on the UK Albums charts. Da Funk and Around the World peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot Dance/Club Play with Around the World peaking at 61 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album is certified Gold by the United States Recording Industry Association of America.
Thoughts on the Album
20 years ago, Daft Punk unleashed on the world their debut album, Homework, and music (and the world) haven’t been the same since. While their contemporaries were bringing on guest artists and/or sampling rock albums, Daft Punk was busy creating an album that is nothing more than pure synapse tweaking brilliance. As far as debut albums go, Homework is damn near prefect. It’s genre defining. Homework proved that techno, house, and electronic music could be both catchy and poppy.
The album opens with the minimalist, Daftendirekt. It was the track that the duo had been opening up with at live shows prior to 1997, so making it the album opener was only fitting. Displaying an embrace of house, the duo uses a slow-boiling, disorienting beat to get people’s feet moving. The track displays a simple formula: techno + funk. The track shows itself as link between Kraftwerk and today’s EDM/dance music.
Revolution 909 has it’s own narrative: the cops break up a rave and insisting that they stop playing music and go home. Well… I don’t think the cops could stop this beat, especially one as pulsing and insistent as the one found on this track. It is an example of 1980’s style Chicago house. Then we arrive at Da Funk, a fusion of hip-hop and house. However it’s more than just that… it also adds in elements of 1970’s inspired glam rock and disco. The bass bounces as the beat rages. Then there’s Around the World, a banger with an incredibly (and pretty awesomely) deceptive simple beat. It’s like they went into Microsoft Word and hit “control-c” and “control-v” (aka copy-and-paste) five times over with this beat. Take two parts disco and one part R&B and you get Around the World.
Fast forward twenty years into 2017 and Daft Punk is still producing hit after hit. Every musical artist and band has to start somewhere, and Daft Punk started with Homework. Homework is a genre-defining album; an album that influenced my artists of electronic music of the 1990’s, 2000’s, and even into this decade. That shows the kind of staying power a band (and an album) has, when twenty years later it is still influencing people. Homework draws upon past influences and continues to influence the present and will continue to be a driving force in the future.