December 7, 2007

Alive 1997002 Alive [Daft Punk]

Pyramid of Life

Daft Punk. The electronic act even the indies can dig. Show up to any hipster party, and you're bound to hear "Harder Better Faster Stronger" or "Around the World" sandwiched between Animal Collective and Broken Social Scene. Daft Punk, simply put, make music for the masses. If you had the distinct pleasure of attending one of their shows this year, you would see that those in attendance were of all walks of life. Daft Punk's music, unlike most electronic acts, is so simple and pure, that it is able to transcend definition and become loved and enjoyed by all, because, hell, it gets your body moving. Efficiently created, their music perfectly blends well chosen samples to create bliss for your feet and soul.

So now Daft Punk have released "Alive 2007," which chronicles the extraordinary live tour they put on this year. I will be the first one to say that I think Daft Punk's predecessor live album "Alive 1997," is my favorite Daft Punk record after "Discovery" (which is one of my favorite records period), so, needless to say, I had high expectations for "Alive 2007."

Let me start out by saying that both live albums are different in their approach but are both defined by Daft Punk's gift of controlling crowds and generating momentum. "Alive 1997," which was made just when Daft Punk's career was taking off, is a 45 minute live album built from three tracks off "Homework:" "Da Funk," "Rollin' & Scratchin'" and "Alive." However, the tracks are manipulated to the point where they are beyond recognition, creating a unique 45 minute piece that stands out on its own. It's no wonder that "Alive 1997" is only one track; splitting it up would be a crime.

Flash forward, 10 years later. "Alive 2007" is different in its approach, drawing upon three albums worth of material to create another seamless piece of music, though the tracks are defined far more and the songs more recognizable. However, because Daft Punk's music is sample-based, it's quite easy to blend parts of tracks together, which is exactly what the group does for "Alive 2007." Much like "Alive 1997," Daft Punk have created a new piece of music with "Alive 1997," splicing and dicing parts of the many songs in the group's canon to create the ultimate Daft Punk mix.

So which one is better? Can't make that decision yet. I remember being floored at Daft Punk's concert in August in Brooklyn, blinded by the sonic and visual bliss that emanated from that omnipotent pyramid. However, while Alive 2007 is all glitz and high production, Alive 1997 is just flat out raw, and perfectly exemplifies the simple power of Daft Punk's music. So both records are great for their own reasons, but are meant to accomplish the same goal: to rock your body. And isn't that all we should ask in music?

Daft Punk - Around The World / Harder Better Faster Stronger [Alive 2007 LP, 2007]
Daft Punk - Face To Face / Short Circuit [Alive 2007 LP, 2007]


Damosj said...

Uhm, I take it you missed 2007? Justice, Hot Chip, Simian Mobile Disco...electronic _is_ hipster music

Azazel said...

daft punk. yes. rocked.

nice photo! :)