As music lovers young and old tuned into the final moments of the 56’ Grammy Awards on Sunday January 26, it’s safe to say that many viewers may have been taken back by the “robots” who took the stage to accept Best Pop Duo/ Group Performance alongside Pharrell Williams, who acted as their spokesperson. Over the course of the night, the faceless French duo known as Daft Punk took home the Grammy for Best Dance/Electronica Album, and ended their five for five sweep with Album of the Year, a first of its kind for electronic music. A personal victory for electronic fans, not to mention the added bonus of watching Taylor Swift and her entourage’s on screen disappointment. Jumping the gun, miss hearing they had taken home the gold, sorry “T-Swift,” this is our time.
Electronic Dance Music, “EDM”, has been stirring up the scene since the mid-eighties, and Daft Punk has been at the frontier since its conception. Only recently within the past several years has electronic music begun to come into its own, being perceived less as over synthesized club music and more so as produced conceptual compositions. Daft Punk’s, Random Access Memories is proof of just that, combining influences of disco, funk, as well as rock. The album itself seems to be reminiscent of an 80’s soft-core porn soundtrack, tasteful in everyway of course, but I digress.
With twenty years under their belts, they know what works and what doesn’t when it comes to electronic music, a genre that has without a doubt has been stigmatized over the years. The album itself is their most successful to date with or without their Grammy wins. While Pharrell is one of the more recognizable collaborators, the duo also teamed up with Paul Williams as well as Giorgio Moroder. Moroder lends his voice and story to the beginning of the third track, appropriately titled Giorgio by Moroder, for an enticing monologue before evoking you into the scene of a discothèque, “the sound of the future”. Throughout the entire album the live instrumentals paired with the more familiar electronic sounds of the synthesizers remind the listener that rock and electronic can not only co-exist but also adapt together to form new and exciting genres of music.
Say what you will about the Grammy’s, but it can be argued that the prestigious Album of the Year award certainly dictates the wave of which music is affecting the masses. Daft Punk joins the likes of Frank Sinatra, Paul Simon, The Beatles, Arcade Fire just to name a few, as well as Stevie Wonder who joined the duo along with Pharrell and Nile Rodgers to perform a rendition of their hit “Get Lucky” before receiving Best Pop Performance. Wonder may have been their good luck charm, “very superstitious.” With that being said, it seems as though Daft Punk’s win may indeed be opening a Pandora’s box if you will, in regards to changes within the music industry, as old school and new age join forces. Early on in the night Ryan Raddon, also known as Kaskade, who was up against Daft Punk for Best Dance Album, spoke of how “dance music has come a long way” since his involvement within the industry two decades ago. Cheers to what the future may bring.
Montclair State | New Jersey