Daft Punk, the famous two robots, are not known for being prolific. Still, each time they give birth to a new musical project — roughly every four years — one can rest assured that it will unimpeachably have its distinct impact on contemporary music.
Forget their incredible futuristic helmets and trendy leather jackets custom-made by fashion genius Hedi Slimane. Daft Punk’s entitled notoriety comes from producing some of the best and most original electronic anthems of our generations. Undeniably not an indie band, these Frenchies never sold out commercially (lets skip the release of their “Best Of” only after two albums).
In this case, their last creation is a 22 song soundtrack composed for the upcoming movie “Tron: Legacy.” The album was recorded with an 85-piece orchestra at the famous Air Lyndhurst Studios in London, a 3,229 square foot hexagonal live arena built inside an old Anglican church. So yes, when Disney approached Daft Punk to compose the film score of what is set to be an extremely anticipated sequel in the geeky sphere, they knew that these two machines visionaries had the guts to bring the epic vision it needed.
The result is a 59 minute groundbreaking, monumental piece de resistance aware of the fact that it is not your regular Daft Punk album. The only classically structured dance song within the soundtrack is the sadly too-short “Derezzed.” In less than two minutes, they still manage to completely flip any regular dance floor upside down. Yet the rhythm gets so mashed up that your mind and feet can’t keep up. It’s sounds as if they had the most evolved MPC machine in their digital hands and just played with it for our auditory perception’s pleasure.
On this album, the sonorities are much closer to the synthesizers of composer Vangelis on the “Blade Runner” or “1492: Conquest of Paradise” soundtracks. In this “electronic opera,” Daft Punk shape the bridge between epic classical symphonic music and intense energetic electronic chords and beats, reinventing their own sound.
The delivered product has that kind of powerful magnitude comparable to Trevor Jones’ soundtrack of John Burman’s spellbinding “Excalibur.” Like Jones, Daft Punk succeeded at taking advantage of every classical instrument its opera-sized orchestra had to offer. Daft Punk behaved as true conductors. So when you hear the shouting horns calling for battle, the breathtaking strident sound of the cellos and violins, Thomas Bangalter’s sturdy bass line or Guy de Homem-Christo’s magical synthesizers are never too far. Even if they are sometimes well-hidden on tracks like “Outlands” or “Addagio”, they are certainly there throughout the album as they become key to the unique modernism and sci-fi aspect that defines Tron’s hallmark. The emotion you get is similar to the waves of an alternating current switching back and forth from a stressful anxiety to a complete feeling of euphoria.
“Tron: Legacy”’s OST shows Daft Punk at the top of their game, dropping another bomb on the musical field. This is more than a simple crusade — this a band creating a legacy for us to savor.