The French duo shrouded in mystery and robot masks has been making massive dancefloors move since the 90s.
Although they aren’t known for their faces, Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, aka Daft Punk, have made their names and futuristic costumes well-recognized by being innovators in the house music realm and setting the standard for beyond-impressive live shows.
The duo began their careers together in the rock scene playing gigs in France as two-thirds of a band called Darlin’, when a review of the band’s performance dismissed their music as “a bunch of daft punk,” but the two found this more thought-provoking than offensive. Soon after, the band dismantled leaving Bangalter and Homem-Christo to experiment with drum machines and synthesizers.
They got their first break during a rave at Euro Disney in 1993 when the two met with Stuart Macmillan, co-founder of Soma Quality Recordings, and handed him a demo tape. The track was called “The New Wave” which included a mix called “Alive” that would later appear on their first album.
Daft Punk returned to the studio in 1995 to produce “Da Funk” which became their first hit single. In 1996, the duo settled on Virgin Records but maintained control of their work by licensing it out to Virgin through their production company Daft Trax.
Major popularity arrived at Daft’s doorstep in the late ’90s with the release of their debut album Homework featuring “Around the World” and “Alive.” Their subsequent album Discovery in 2001 cemented their reputation, boasting enormous, Grammy-nominated hits like “One More Time” and “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger.”
At this point Daft Punk shifted their careers into high-gear, and the two continued to conceal their identities through LED-laden headgear, rejecting the traditional “rockstar” concept of linking a person’s likeness to their work.
Riding the success of Discovery, the duo then returned to the studio in late 2004, but only for six weeks. Human After All released in 2005 to mixed reviews – namely that the recording felt rushed. Nonetheless, the album carried with it “Technologic,” “The Prime Time of Your Life,” and the instant hit “Robot Rock.” Initial statements from Daft Punk simply implied that the album title was appropriately chosen.
The two have also been involved in various cinematic efforts throughout their music careers, including a complete score for the Disney film TRON: Legacy, for which Daft Punk produced 24 tracks and earned a Grammy nomination. Since then it’s been all studio time for the electronic superstars, and their forthcoming album has been in the works since 2010.