On this day in 1993, a review was published in Melody Maker that would shape music history, at least for two young Paris-based musicians.
In early 1993, Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter’s early 90s band, Darlin’, shared space on an seven-inch double pack with the likes of Huggy Bear and Stereolab, on the indie label Duophonic Super 45s.
Darlin’s contribution to the EP were two fuzz-guitar led efforts, Cindy So Loud and a cover of the Beach Boys track that reportedly gave the band its name, Darlin’.
Reviewing the EP in the 1 May 1993 edition of Melody Maker, Dave Jennings described the group’s effort as “daft punky thrash”, thereby inadvertently setting in motion events that would lead the duo to adopt this moniker – Daft Punk – for their nascent electronic music project.
Darlin’ never recovered from this early setback (thankfully), but as for the rest of the EP?
“The only think I’m sure of is that lots of copies of this immensely indulgent curio will be making their way into record shops’ second hand racks over the next few weeks,” Jennings wrote.
“When I was seventeen, I was looking for a band. I looked at the ads in Danceteria, one of the few good record stores in Paris,” he explained. “The music these ads mentioned was always really depressing. But there was one that was hand- written and very well designed. It listed the Velvet Underground, Spacemen 3, the Beach Boys, 13th Floor Elevators. The Beach Boys didn’t have this status they have now. This combination stood out immediately. I’d never answered an ad. I called Guy-Man, and we met in a McDonald’s in front of the Luxembourg gardens. It was 1 January, 1992.
“We were still at school. We were very bad musicians, but it was more about the friendship. I discovered a lot of music from him. He had a very strong sense of aesthetics very young, which was pretty rare.
“Then I met his friend, Thomas Bangalter. Guy-Man was very suffering and full of teenage angst. True, metaphysical suffering! And Thomas was more joyful, more rational. His father was a musician. So he knew how you make records. We did a little cassette demo, an original and a cover of the Beach Boys’ “Darlin,” so we called the band Darlin. There was a Stereolab concert. My mission was to hand this tape to Tim Gane. He contacted us and released those tracks on a split, double seven-inch with one band per side. It felt like having a platinum record, even if it was a pressing of maybe five hundred copies.
“Melody Maker called us ‘a daft, punky mess.’ [sic] aIt wasn’t true, but the name stuck. Just having a review was cool. We only played two or three shows. Darlin’ never officially broke up because it was never officially created. It was just very natural. They were into the beginnings of rave culture in Paris, and I really wasn’t.”
History has a funny way of panning out, doesn’t it? 🙂
daft punky trash. pic.twitter.com/GoI7oDjnz1— François Rieux (@FrancoisRieux) January 31, 2023