Daft Punk’s Discovery, largely regarded as the French duo’s high water mark, was released on this day (26 February 2001).
Released four years after the group’s storming debut, Homework, Discovery saw the group explore richer sounds, bringing in elements of disco, R&B and synth pop, and some expertly chosen samples – Edwin Birdsong’s Cola Bottle Baby forms the backbone of Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger, for example.
“Homework […] was a way to say to the rock kids, like, ‘Electronic music is cool’,” Daft Punk’s Thomas Bangalter told GQ magazine in 2013. “Discovery was the opposite, of saying to the electronic kids, ‘Rock is cool, you know? You can like that.'”
It’s also an album packed with moments of playful exuberance – there are few more euphoric opening tracks than One More Time, featuring heavily vocoded vocals by Romanthony, who also guests on the joyous Too Long at the album’s close.
Also, in our opinion, Veridis Quo is one of the most underrated tracks in Daft Punk’s back catalogue.
Check out this interview with the duo from 2001, where they hang out with anime artist Leiji Matsumoto (who was behind the Interstellar 5555 project that accompanied the album), wander through the Tokyo metro, and discuss the nature of success.
“For us, the important thing, and what we consider to be success, is being able to enjoy ourselves and have fun making music,” Bangalter says at one point.
“Having sold two million copies of the first album is a very great gift, and we are fortunate for that, but success is really more about trying to do something, have fun, and make the music you want to… and being happy with that.”
Happy birthday Discovery..! 🙂