Gesaffelstein – Hate or Glory

Most of the electronic music I’ve been listening to lately is admittedly tame compared to the stuff that introduced me to the genre. As much as I’ve loved the new albums by artists like Moderat, Darkside, Machinedrum, and The Field – and I do love those albums – they don’t really hold a flame to the gristle of Atari Teenage Riot or Skinny Puppy.

Honestly, the roughest electronic stuff I’ve been into has been Kanye’s Yeezus. Who else is making material like “On Sight“? Maybe Factory Floor. But as great as their album is, I’m more likely to sit down and zone out when a song is eight minutes long than hang on every second like I do when it’s edited down to 2:30.

Yeezus brings me to Gesaffelstein. It also brings me to Daft Punk, Brodinski, TNGHT, and Arca, but it’s Gesaffelstein who’s really intrigued me the past couple of months. The easiest way for me to describe what I’ve heard so far is that he’s starting where Justice left off and giving it the repetition and razor-sharp edge that techno owns.

His latest single, “Hate or Glory”, starts with a monotonous bouncing synth that collides with a 4/4 scream. It then builds piece by piece adding more distorted synths and high hats sitting way up front. Everything drops twice throughout the song just telling you that what you thought was loud and rough before was tame compared to what’s coming. Boy does the final onslaught deliver. It’s everything from before plus more of everything before. It’s great. It’s about what I felt when I heard “Waters of Nazareth” for the first time.

My 10 favorite songs so far in 2013

It’s just about June, and even though I should probably wait for the end of the sixth month, yesterday a friend asked me what my favorite songs of the year are so far, so here they are. I’ve tried to not have a single genre dominate the list (even though I’m listening to way more pop and electronic music these day), and although some of these songs were originally released last year as singles, all of them were at least put out on an LP in 2013.

The list in no real order:

Fuckin’ Problems – ASAP Rocky (feat. 2 Chainz, Drake, and Kendrick Lamar)

Maybe not the best song to begin with, but as Long. Live. A$AP came out just two weeks into the year, so it starts the list. I love when the beat to a song is a hook in and of itself. The vocal sample and the lazy, eroded drums that bookend the song have been stuck in my head even more than 2 Chainz’ actual chorus – which has been stuck plenty on its own.


Ministry of Love – IO Echo

I can get into ambient, noisy stuff. But layer some pop structure and catchy melodies on top and I really can’t resist. That’s pretty much the recipe IO Echo followed for “Ministry of Love.” Every element of this song seems to be complementing every other element: the bass pumps up the fuzzed guitar which blends in with the mid-to-high end drums, and the vocals just ensure that you have something to sing along to – simple but effective.


Full of Fire – The Knife

It’s pretty clear that 2013 has more super-insanely-hyped “semi-comeback” albums than any year in recent memory. The Knife’s Shaking the Habitual is one of those albums. Never a band to align itself with the rest of what everyone else is doing, The Knife went way into left field with this one, as evidenced by the fact that “Full of Fire” is one of the more accessible songs on the album.

It’s a ten minute unfolder that starts with drums that evolve and change at and in every bar. The warped vocals and stuttering synths come in at the same time, and continuing on everything builds and bends while the drums become the synths and the synths become snares and high hats and bird chirps. It’s unnerving in the best way. Every part of the song gets warped and layered until the twenty seconds when everything but the drums drop and Karin plays on Salt ‘n Pepa’s “Push It” by chanting “Let’s talk about gender, baby/Let’s talk about you and me.”


My Number – Foals

“My Number” is probably the closest thing to their earlier work that exists on their new album, which isn’t to say that I don’t like the direction that they are evolving in, but I really do love how well their songs can bounce (see Balloons, Total Life Forever, and Two Steps, Twice.) This is just a fun song that exemplifies their best abilities to make indie rock really pop-friendly.


Lose Yourself to Dance – Daft Punk (feat. Pharrell Williams)

Maybe I’ll go into more detail later, but as far as this album goes, I’m in love right now, and I think that’s going to build over time.

Just looking at this song though, THAT GROOVE! There aren’t many songs that I would listen to on repeat because I’d rather just go through an album, but this song could continue for an hour and I’d ask for more. There isn’t a part of this song I would change. The progression of the beat to the guitar to Pharrell’s vocals to the vocoded panning vocals and on, I love it all and it fits like a glove. This is going to be up there on my favorite songs of the year, no doubt.

PS: I know that the lyrics are simple, but I find enjoyment in whether the song is suggesting that you have to lose your inhibitions in order to really dance or whether dancing is what causes you to forget your worries.


The Fall – Rhye

The most chill song on this list. Maybe the most common line you’d read about this new group is how singer Mike Milosh sounds like Sade, and while that’s true, that doesn’t change the fact that this music could so easily fall into banal lounge-y stuff. Luckily, Rhye stays clear of that trap by taking their warm and relaxed sound and placing small flourishes of plucked strings, drawn out ambient ooohs, and switch ups that keep the songs from lingering.


Sacrilege – Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Boy do I wish I could have had multiple songs from this album to choose from. At least this lead single delivered. Is the gospel choir at the end a cheap tactic? Is the build tongue in cheek or just easy? Why am I fine with one verse and two-line chorus for four minutes? I don’t know, but I like this song. It’s possible I’m just falling for it though.


You’re the One – Charli XCX

Yeah, I know this came out a year ago. But so did half of the songs on the album, and that came out this year, so I’m counting it. What Charli XCX lack in vocal strength she more than makes up for in production and sheer ability to layout hooks in every single song she releases. There seem to be a solid number of female indie pop singers releasing material right now (Little Boots, Kate Boy, Charli, etc.), but none of the others have this glitter-goth thing nailed quite like she does. There’re probably four or five songs on the album that I was picking from for this list; it’s a strong one.


She Will – Savages

Let it be know, I’m very much still processing this album. Everything I read about Savages restates something along the lines of “there’s nothing new here”,  “they wear their influences on their sleeve”, or “look! girls playing stuff that isn’t riot grrrl” while at the same time laying crazy amount of praise on the group. Put simply, I like the raw sound, and this song is catchy. But again, still getting into it.


You Are My Destiny – The Juan Maclean

And here we are at the end with The Juan Maclean bringing house into the fold. I could have put a lot more electronic music on this list – notably Hot Natured’s “Reverse Skydiving”, Factory Floor’s “Fall Back” and Atoms For Peace’s “Default” – but they haven’t hit me quite like the rest of songs on here. Also, I’m trying to keep the list eclectic.

But back to Juan. This song really typifies the house-ier side of DFA Records: spacey synths and Nancy Wang on vocals. Live drums would’ve been the kicker, but the song is probably stronger without them. I like that this song is long, that it builds, but also that the meat of the song hits sooner than it does on “Happy House“. I hope Maclean has more in store for us this year.

Got 17 free months? Make a Daft Punk Helmet!

A Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo helmet to be exact. This video made my day, and I love that DIY projects like this exist.

I think that I heard, back around the time of the Alive 2007 tour, that the real helmets cost thousands of dollars to make. Check the link below for a more detailed explanation of how this was done.

Daft Punk: FINAL! -Volpin Props

Justice – A Cross the Universe

justice and the sweet atmosphere that accompanies the show
justice and the sweet atmosphere that accompanies the show

Who puts out a live CD/DVD combo when they’ve only released one LP and a couple EPs? I mean, it’s not like a headlining electronic act could build an entire show off of one album… Unless of course, it’s Justice we’re talking about.

Instead of going over the history of Justice, which you probably already know, let’s jump right into the track-by-track (I’ve combined some tracks that are split into two on the CD).

  1. Intro (?/5) – Like listening to people screaming in anticipation? Then put this track on repeat for a few hours. I can’t really rate it because it’s just an intro track.
  2. Genesis (4/5) – Those horns… There might not be a better way to begin the live show. They’re mean, ugly, and they perfectly symbolize what Justice has done to dance music. As much as the Intro track is a welcoming to the live show when siting on your couch, Genesis is the intro to the live show when you’re on your feet and the lights just went out. It does it’s job well, but it suffer from a problem that runs through the entire show: Justice can’t find a groove to let people dance to (I’ll elaborate later).
  3. Phantom Part I & I.5 (4/5) – Genesis dies out, and that infamous synth line comes in. Right from the get-go, Justice is chopping the track up with the “boom-kat-boom-kat” drums that are featured in all their songs. Part I is a straightforward Phantom Pt I, and Part I.5 is more Phantom Pt I as an segway to D.A.N.C.E. It jumps back and forth between Phantom and a spacy kinda-arped synth; it serves as a way to slow the show down a bit.
  4. D.A.N.C.E. Part I & II (4/5) – Beginning with the acapella vocals, D.A.N.C.E. Part I leaves behind the funky groove that usually accompanies these vocals (a piano does eventually join in). No problem, acapella basically means sing-a-long to the audience, and it works pretty well seeing as everyone knows the lyrics. Part I ends by speeding up and giving into the faster, more eletro-oriented Part II. I have no idea what hardware Justice uses to get these unbelievable synths, but the one that comes with Part II is brand new and amazing. It really carries Part II through it’s 3 minute extension of Part I. These two parts of D.A.N.C.E. are perfect evidence of why Justice has been able to turn a 40 minute LP into an hour and a half live show.
  5. DVNO (4/5) – Losing no momentum, DVNO comes in with the same synth that went with D.A.N.C.E. Part II. I hated this song on the album at first, but the radio edit and this live version have converted me. The vocals aren’t sluggish and abrasive anymore, they’re smooth and provide another sing-a-long. This track undergoes it’s fair share of chopping and splicing (thanks to Ableton Live, I believe).
  6. Waters of Nazareth (Prelude) (3/5) – This track serves as a quasi-extension to keep the audience interested without becoming fatigued. It isn’t really Waters of Nazareth, but some small parts of the song are mixed in. There are some vocals included I don’t recognize, but they aren’t a big part of the song. It’s only a two minute segway, and 15 seconds of it are the break down that lead into One Minute to Midnight.
  7. One Minute to Midnight (3/5) – One of the most interesting tracks on the LP to me. It didn’t receive much attention, but it’s cool in a different way than the rest of the songs. Unfortunately, it’s also used as a semi-segway to the next song in the live show.
  8. Tthhee Ppaarrttyy (0/5) – Call me a hater, but this track should never have been included on the album. Just because Uffie is a label-mate of Justice doesn’t mean that she’s necessary. Luckily for Justice, there are a TON of people who do love this song. The crowd roars throughout the whole thing.
  9. Let There Be Light (5/5) – The name of this track couldn’t be more appropriate here. It begins at a snails pace and builds to its true tempo of over 120 bpm. This song and the synths that come along with it seem to want to rip each other to shreds from start to finish. There are high-pitched repeated screaming sounds contrasted against a super-low grinding bass that somehow come together with the same drums that are in all the songs. I guess to showcase some of their remixes, Justice also includes a small sample from their remix of Scenario Dance’s Skitzo Dancer. You know, the one where it says “disco” over and over and over.
  10. Stress (4/5) – Some reviews call this the highlight of the show. I disagree. While this “Auto Remix” of Stress is quite a feat in how much it differs from the original while still maintaining it’s tones (of stress), it doesn’t ever really go anywhere. It builds, and builds, and builds, but when the drums hit, they just seem awkward and don’t reach that climax that electronic tracks are meant to. The bouncing strings are awesome, but again, they don’t go anywhere. At the end of the song, the bass line from We Are Your Friends comes in.
  11. We Are Your Friends (Reprise) (5/5) – If I called D.A.N.C.E. and DVNO sing-a-longs, they are nothing compared to We Are Your Friends. As Justice’s first single as a remix of Simian’s Never Be Alone, it’s what begun the never-ending hype that surrounds Justice. Instead of playing the vocals in their entirety, Justice just plays the first word of each line and lets the audience finish it. The gimmick works, and the live recording captures the beck-and-call perfectly. In my opinion, this is Justice’s happiest song. It’s dead simple in its construction, and the distortion and grit that is in the rest of their songs is no where to be found (except when they go into the Metallica song…)
  12. Waters of Nazareth (5/5) – This is the real Waters of Nazareth. While We Are Your Friends is Justice’s happiest track, this is without a doubt their angriest. It’s the first Justice song I ever heard, and at the time it convinced me that Justice was an industrial-dance duo. Justice has turned the public’s perception of electronic music on its head. No longer do you have to be in a club listening to “unst-unst-unst” bobbing our head all night. Now you can be at a street festival with thousands of people doing some amalgamation of dancing, jumping, and moshing. Justice might be a fad (it’s seeming less and less likely though), but the closest thing I can compare them to is The Prodigy.
  13. Phantom Pt II (5/5) – Forget Stress, Phantom Pt II is the real climax of this album and of the live show. It’s what everyone has wanted to hear all night, and when it comes up to speed, everyone basically goes apeshitcrazy. This version of the song is a mix of the original, the Soulwax remix, and I believe the Boys Noize remix. It’s as close to perfect as you can get. It would be perfect if it didn’t have that damn lady talking in random spots. Forgetting the lady, I love this song. I’ve listened to it way too many times. It brings be back to when I saw Justice at Street Scene earlier this year in the same way that the Encore song from Daft Punk’s Alive 2008 album brings me back to when I saw them last year.
  14. Encore We Are Your Friends (Piano) – It’s a short song that brings in the encore. Nothing special.
  15. NY Excuse – Honestly, I don’t really like this song. It’s really interesting, but I think it takes too long to get where it wants to go, and when it gets there, it sounds like it’s trying to be We Are Your Friends + Justice distortion, but it falls short (run-on sentence, I know).
  16. Final Metalica – Bringing Metallica to an electro show is pretty much what Justice is about. It’s a good final song. They pump up the 4/4 beats and speed it up; it closes the show nicely.

Overall, I think I’d give the album a 4/5. That last point is lost to the fact that Gaspard and Xavier don’t frequent dance floors. Only in Phantom Part II does the live show give the audience a groove to dance to. In other places it tries, but the songs are cut short by breakdowns or transitions that leave the beat out. To bring up the Daft Punk comparison, I feel that this was something that Daft Punk did flawlessly. They know how an audience reacts to certain songs. They understand that fatigue sets in when you leave the energy too high too long. I hope that Justice can learn these things over time and improve their sets accordingly.

Daft Punk – Alive 2007

daftpunkalive2007-thumb.jpgRemember that post I did a while ago about Daft Punk’s incredible concert at the L.A. Sports Arena? This is the review of the live album for that tour, not the actual experience of the concert. If you are a dedicated Daft Punk fan, I’ll try to have some info in here that interests you, but with this review I’m looking more to those who don’t “get” Daft Punk or what it (as a movement) has come to encompass. Let’s get the obvious points out of the way. 1) Anything Daft Punk does right now blows my mind. 2) This album is the epitome of an electronic live album. Here’s why:

  1. Robot Rock / Oh Yeah: We begin with the chopped words “Human Robot” being spoken very slowly. The pace picks up, high hats are forging on, and bit by bit the beat comes in to play. After 2:20 of intro, Robot Rock comes in full force. This track off of Human After All, which has had its fair share of plays, starts the record off nice and hard. It’s repetitious, but rough enough so that we know that Alive 2007 definitely isn’t Discovery 2. As Robot Rock gets split and mangled, Oh Yeah, one of the straightforward Homework tracks, replaces the beat. We continue a bit to establish that bass will not be lacking here, and move on.
  2. Touch It / Technologic: In comes the sample of Technologic used by Busta Rhymes mixed with a modified Robot Rock beat. Please, try not to get overwhelmed by the variety of beats layered behind the vocals here. After a bit of straight Touch It is finished playing and our two robots kill every sample used, the true Technologic vocal comes in to speak every line of the intro. Some guitar sample is played with it, and after a whole minute without bass, Technologic’s trudging beat blasts out to keep the heads bobbing. Again, more shredding of sounds is done with Ableton Live and the other hardware located in the most elusive of pyramids.
  3. Television Rules the Nation / Crescendolls: The first empty second shows its face, but the vocoded line of “Televisionnn… Rules the Nationnn…” quickly covers that up and continues the Human After All laden first tracks. But then we are so rudely tempted with the lines of “Around the World,” and my favorite synth line ever gets its play time. This song really is better at a fast tempo. The song cuts straight into Crescendolls, which plays for a bit. Crescendolls is a party-ready song to begin with, but when they bring back Television, wow. The high-energy of Crescendolls and the industrial trudge of Television is insane to say the least.
  4. Too Long / Steam Machine: Time to come down. Television/Crescendolls was fun, but that energy can’t last too long. This song is an excellent example of how Daft Punk isn’t out to keep the energy at 10 all night; they recognize that by bringing it in waves, those highs are so much better when they hit. Regardless, this is a nice revamp of Steam Machine, which was one of the songs on Human After All that got too repetitive. Not so here. This song serves its function: to bring the energy down & give everyone a breather.
  5. Around the World / Harder Better Faster Stronger: Your breather is over, brace yourself. As you can hear, when the bass-line of Around the World comes in, it’s obvious that you’re in for a treat. As Daft Punk’s most singable song plays, another all-time classic works itself in. If you want to chant along, please feel free. These two songs are fan favorites for a reason, and when they are pumping at the same time, the energy is back up at 10. Throughout the song, never do these two monsters seem to be at each other’s throats. It’s as if they were meant to be torn apart and squashed together from their creation.
  6. Burnin’ / Too Long: Coming back down, the raw originality of Burnin’ shines. Straight from Homework, this 10 year-old song hasn’t aged a day. A fair amount of effects are thrown into the mix so as not to get repetitive. For the second and final time, Too Long surfaces for its showcase. It got 10 minutes on Discovery, why not another 5 here? As the song comes to a close, it is clear that Part I is finished.
  7. Face To Face / Short Circuit: The interlude between acts begins. Don’t worry, the energy doesn’t get too high here. To me, this song shows off Daft Punk’s ability to perfectly re-create their songs to form new entities that stand on their own. As if the original beat on Face to Face wasn’t sweat enough, Harder Better Faster Stronger is no longer a vocal section, it replaces the hodgepodge first beat. Ending this middle-ground, Short Circuit and then silence.
  8. One More Time / Aerodynamic: Hear those bells? Know what they mean? If not, just grab a hold of your seat, there isn’t much of a break until the end. As the One More Time synth plays sans bass, you can hear the crowd wanting to sing along before the vocals come in. 1/2 of a bass, and then it’s in full force. A classic indeed. Just sing with the thousands of fans with Daft Punk’s most famous song. A third of the way through comes Aerodynamic’s guitar solo and the following beat. Just as was done with Television/Crescendolls, two songs become one. This is an energy = 11 moment, revel in it. This song is the entire album wrapped into one: classics, rises, falls, loud crowds, etc…
  9. Aerodynamic Beats / Forget About the World: Slowing down a bit, but not too much, Daft Punk kinda flaunts an old mix here. It has a great synth that sweeps in and out that meshes with Brainwasher’s vocals near the end.
  10. Prime Time of Your Life / Brainwasher / Rollin’ and Scratchin’ / Alive: 4 in 1, that’s what you get here. Prime Time’s vocals are nice, but are pumped up a notch when Rollin’ and Scratchin’s single drum hit accompanies it. Both old and new are played here. One observation of this track is how well Human After All combines with Homework. For as much slack as Human has received, when played with Homework, they really do work well.
  11. Da Funk / Daftendirekt: Part III (of III). Da Funk has my second favorite synth in it. It bounces and stays consistent with its bitter sting throughout. As Daftendirekt follows and mixes with Da Funk the effects that can be applied live are shows off here. Stutters, EQs, and the like are all used here, making for a song that differs greatly from the original two from Homework. They don’t carry the same 90s French Touch sound that their originals do, they are brought into the 21st century with style and class.
  12. Superheroes / Human After All / Rock’n Roll: To be blunt, this song is all rise. But what else could you ask for from a finale? It begins with Superheroes’ simple bass and the looped vocal comes in gradually as the original does. And then, what’s that? Oh, that’s the best beat of Human After All. That beat hits SO hard. How a house track is made into a fist-pumper escapes me. This song was always meant to be a finale song. With lyrics that say, “We are human, after all. Thanks for comin’, after all,” it could be nothing else. Pitches are raised, volume is maxed out, and in the end, the beat is dropped for the final “After All.” Fitting. The crowd roars, and for good reason. They know that an encore is coming up.
  13. Encore: Human After All / Together / One More Time / Music Sounds Better With You: So if you were lucky enough (like myself) to get the limited edition version of Alive 2007, you know what this track is. If you were cheap or couldn’t find the limited edition, go and download this song. It’s worth it. Going back to basics, “Human” is repeated many times until the “Time” sample from Para One’s remix of Prime Time After All at 2:15 brings the song into swing. The beat continues and eventually “Together” is brought in. The song falls down repeatedly as the second part begins. And we come to the rise. You can hear it; the hi-hats are increasing. Now it’s all or nothing, and the crowd roars. Why? Because the red suits just lit up, and it’s the most amazing thing that they’ve ever seen. But the song continues with One More Time accompanying this mix of old/new hits and old side-projects. I can’t really say enough about this song, it completely blows me away. 10 minutes for a single-song encore is amazing. The show is over, your mind has been blown.

I hope you have enjoyed my explanation/review of each track. If you agree or disagree with any of my points, feel free to comment!

Daft Punk’s Electroma

Daft Punk’s Electroma PosterI must say that I was surprised by Electroma. After seeing the trailer on Daft Punk’s site and hearing that all spoken words were left out, I was worried that it would turn into some obscure metaphorical movie I wouldn’t get. Turns out I was wrong (well, kinda).

Electroma is the story of two robots (Hero #1 & #2) in the Daft Punk costumes wandering around the California desert when they arrive at the quintessential “Southwestern America” town, except for the part where every townsperson is also wearing a full Daft Punk outfit. In the initial driving scene you see the license plate that reads “HUMAN”, cluing you into the duo’s desire. After going through an external transformation to become human and the failure that follows, the final journey sequence depicts the self-destructing nature of their goal in which they both choose to destroy themselves rather than remain in robot form.

It’s a simple story of the desire to be something you’re not, and the consequences that follow. In no way shape or form is it an optimistic tale. All that junk about being who you want and making more of what you have is thrown out of the window.

Apart from the depressing subject matter, I really enjoyed the film. I disagree with the claims that the scenes are drawn out far too long. But if you go into this movie hoping for some sort of a candy coated picture that looks like Discovery sounds, you will be sorely disappointed. Don’t get me wrong, Electroma looks beautiful, not because the colors are popping out, but because of the composition Bangalter puts together with the various cut views of each scene.

On top of the amazing picture, the music featured in the film fits perfectly. None of it is Daft Punk music, which is surprising at first, but no Daft Punk music would really fit in here. The music used isn’t really odd, but it’s not mainstream music either (just like the movie). Although I know that a soundtrack won’t be coming out seeing as the movie is only about an hour, I’m going to try to research what songs are in it because each and everyone is sick.

This is a movie that tells a simple story in a very abstracted form, but it’s not hard to understand. If you can view Electroma not wanting to be entertained the entire time, it will be an enjoyable film for you too.

And I thought Daft Punk couldn’t live up to the hype…

Daft Punk Alive ‘07 T-Shirt Logo

I almost feel bad writing this, almost sorry for you. But I also feel that I would be doing you a disservice by not letting you in on the most revolutionary concert I have ever been to. I can honestly say that the full 5 hours that I (and a friend) spent at the LA Sports Arena were well spent. Here is a rundown of the experience (because it was an experience).

We arrived at the arena at around 6:15 pm, and we were definitely surprized by the number of people who were already in line. It seemed like we had shown up for the wrong concert. There was only about 20 people in the Loge/Concourse line (our line) and probably about 40 in the Floor line (not our line). I know that the show didn’t start until 8, but I honestly thought that there would be way more people.

So we go in around 7 when the doors opened and got prime seats in the Loge section with barely anyone around us. We sat around ’till 9:15 when SebastiAn and Kavinsky started spinning. There was a fair amount of people inside now, but it was clear that most people weren’t too interested in the openers. I need to say that I love SebastiAn, and I am glad that they played more of his material than Kavinsky’s (not my favorite).

Oddly, I noticed that I actually recognized a fair ammount of the songs that were mixed between their two sets (it was a DJ set to open and fill time between Ratatat and Daft Punk). Here’s what I recognized:

  • Justice – D.A.N.C.E., Waters of Nazareth (Justice Remix), Let There Be Light (DJ Funk’s Bounce Dat Ass Remix), Phantom Pt. II, and Genesis.
  • Uffie – Ready To Uff
  • The Prodigy – Smack My Bitch Up
  • SebastiAn – RossRossRoss, Head/Off, Walkman, Killing In The Name (SebastiAn Remix), Greel
  • Kavinsky – (I don’t know the song, but it was obviously his, he has a distinct style)
  • Busy P – Rainbow Man

Let me say that the music was up so loud that every one of SebastiAn’s songs hit like a knockout punch. His Killing In The Name remix was a song that my friend and I wanted to hear, and the crowd went insane when it was played near the end of the set (obviously Coachella kids in the crowd). Sadly, the remix ends before the “FUCK YOU, I WONT DO WHAT YOU TELL ME… MOTHERFUCKERRRRR!” part… I found the number of Justice songs being played to be kind of odd, but I love Justice, so it was welcome; I don’t have a problem with inter-label promotion at all.

On to the actual live performances. Ratatat obviously had less stage space than Daft did (that pyramid doesn’t appear out of thin air), but they don’t really need much of a stage. Their music is amazing at that high of a volume. The bass really hits and the guitars whine all night long. Their DVD playing behind them was kind of cool, but their music is so unique that it blows me away every time I hear it. Great set. SebastiAn and Kavinsky spun again, and our attention was split between the DJs and the flashing test lights emmitting from behind the huge curtain pulled around the pyramid.

Finally the lights went out and the place erupted. Daft Punk opened just as they did in Coachella two years ago with the “HHUUMMAANN RROOBBOOTT” slowly gaining pace to preface Robot Rock. Much of what they did was the same as their recent concerts pertaining to the progression of songs and eventual introduction to different uses for their lights.

The first major change came came at Around the World (Harder Better Faster Stronger Remix) when the first “around the world” came and the entire floor lit up with the lights that were placed encircling the entire arena! It was amazing how perfect it seemed. The lights seemed to be the same kind of lights they have as the grid on either side of the pyramid. Watch the video at the end of the post and you will see what I mean. They look white in the video, but the can do every color just as the grid can.

From there on, it was nonstop dancing and French Touch killing everyone’s preconceived notions about what a “show” should be. Because of the extended set time, Daft Punk played (what seemed to me to be, but wasn’t…) an extended version of Too Long. Maybe they didn’t, but I thought it was longer than the Coachella set (I have the full audio on my computer, it was normal). Oh yeah, there was one other reason why it was longer…

The encore. It was amazing. I didn’t think that there would be an encore, and boy was I wrong. For a while, it seemed pointless standing there shouting for what seemed forever, but when the lights never came on, it was apparent that something was going to happen. Eventually they came back on stage and played what people have said was a remix of Music Sound Better With You. Then the new suits came out. They were amazing, and so was the way that they presented them (with the red light leading up to them through the stage. That topped it all off. If there was a question that Daft Punk is the best, there is no such question anymore.

Please, everyone, if you get the chance to see Daft Punk, do not pass it up. It will be an event that you will never forget. Also, if you were there, or have anything to say, leave a comment!

Update: I added a few songs I remembered (re-recognized) were played during the SebastiAn/Kavinsky set.

Continue reading “And I thought Daft Punk couldn’t live up to the hype…”

Daftbastianvinskatatat Concert

Concert Montage

In case you don’t get it (I don’t expect you to), the title is to be translated to be Daft Punk/SebastiAn/Kavinsky/Ratatat Concert. This is the concert a friend and I will be going to on July 21 in LA. Words cannot really express how excited I am about this.

I will start with Daft Punk. I really do love their music. As much as it pains me that they are very close to stealing material and slapping their name on it, I feel that they are innovative in their sampling ways and deserve as much praise as they get. They have succeeded at not disappearing as so many electronic fad artists do. Why? Because they are more than their music.

Daft Punk has become a level of quality in persona and live shows on top of their amazing music that other artists can only strive for. One of the big reasons that electronic music isn’t big in the States is because of the difficulties of putting together entertaining live sets with real visuals. Just watch a YouTube video of a recent Daft Punk concert and you will see that this isn’t a problem for them.

SebastiAn is my favorite electronic artist in terms of music right now. Everything of his, from his albums to his remixes, blows me away. Just read my latest assessment of the Ed Banger crew for more on SebastiAn.

Kavinsky is still a bit mysterious to me. He is the artist who’s music I have heard the least of. I have his two EPs but I don’t feel that they do him justice. His sound is a retro-house electro type thing. Old 80s synths are all over the place in his songs. I like it, but I hope there’s something more for me to grasp at the concert.

Ratatat is the ugly duckling of this group. Not because I don’t like them (I LOVE them) but because they actually play instruments. I’m really looking forward to hearing their very unique sound blasted at me through a huge sound system. To me, Ratatat is a sort of a Dueling Banjos funneled through the electronica scene with a drum machine thrown in for size. I have never heard anything like them, and I love it.

So there you have it, a short assessment of the artists I will see on Saturday, July 21, 2007 at about 9pm. Jealous?

Kanye West’s Daft Punk-aided Stronger video

I am no fan of Kanye West. Let it be known before you dive headfirst into this intriguing column of mine. He is cocky and irreverent of any other musical artist on the scene. Remember when he ran onstage to ruin Justice and Simian’s award for “We Are Your Friends”? No? Well that was my last straw, and the video is after the jump.

So, this new video for Kanye West’s song “Stronger” has been talked about for a long time. It has a Daft Punk sample! It’s an expensive video! It’s off his new album! Directed by Hype Williams! Too bad the video amounts to some eye candy and a plot just as confusing as Justin Timerlake’s “SexyBack”… Putting Daft Punk in BOTH your song and video is quite a feat, but it won’t get you video of the year.

The video features some futuristic looking animation with Kanye being reborn by some kind of a Matrix-type machine. It looks cool, but it’s a bit literal of a translation of the song title. Like I said, Daft Punk is sweet anywhere they are placed. Kudos for that one. The sun(?)glasses are equally awsome; I wish I had some. Here is the part that frustrates me: the lack of continuity. There are some great scenes, but they don’t amount to anything. The video for “Jesus Walks” was amazing because it told a story (all three versions were powerful). I don’t feel that there is anything holding “Stronger” together.