Daft Punk were the most influential pop musicians of the 21st century

Daft Punk were the most influential pop musicians of the 21st century

The Guardian

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By resurrecting disco, soft rock and 80s R&B, and bringing spectacle to the world of dance music, the French duo changed the course of pop music again and again

It’s hard to think of an act who had a greater impact on the way 21st-century pop music sounds than Daft Punk. The style Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo minted on their 1997 debut album Homework – house music heavy on the filter effect, which involved the bass or treble on the track gradually fading in and out, mimicking a DJ playing with the equalisation on a mixer; drums treated with sidechain compression, so that the beats appeared to punch through the sound, causing everything else on the track to momentarily recede – is now part of pop’s lingua franca.

In fact, no sooner had Homework come out than other artists started to copy it. Within a couple of years, Madonna had hooked up with another French dance producer, Mirwais, employed to add a distinctly Daft Punk-ish sheen to her 2000 album Music, and the charts were playing host to a succession of soundalike house tracks – 2 People by Jean Jacques Smoothie, who turned out to be a bloke from Gloucester called Steve; Phats and Small’s ubiquitous Turn Around; and No 1 singles, Modjo’s Lady and Eric Prydz’s Call on Me among them.

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