By Courtney E. Smith
Don’t call Daft Punk’s Album of the Year GRAMMY win for Random Access Memories an upset. The French electronic duo have been primed for a comeback for years, with teasers and props coming from Kanye West, who sampled them in his mega-hit “Stronger”; LCD Soundsystem, who immortalized them in the indie raver “Daft Punk Is Playing at My House”; and samples dotting a massive number of hip-hop tracks from Busta Rhymes, Lil’ B, Janet Jackson and Slum Village, just to name a few. Not to mention the lasting cultural impact the duo have had as the forefathers of the current EDM movement.
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In our Inside Album of the Year mini-documentary on Random Access Memories, we made a case for not only Daft Punk’s win last night, but also acknowledged the influential role they’ve played in music across numerous genres throughout their comparatively brief history. Various experts sounded off in support of the robots. Behold above.
“EDM, as it came to be called, became this huge phenomenon,” James Montgomery of MTV News said. “Almost all of the artists who are big, successful stars today to some degree credit Daft Punk with inspiring them to start making music. Without Daft Punk doing anything, their legacy just grew and grew and grew. They’re revered.”
Equally as interesting as their win was their performance for the show. The duo’s design team, Daft Arts, designed and built a 1970’s inspired studio — that looks a lot like the legendary Electric Lady Studios built by Jimi Hendrix in New York City. Television set designer Jim Logiudice worked on the project and posted behind the scenes photos of the building of their set to his Tumblr. “Check out the old school audio equipment integrated into the set. Very cool,” Loguidice wrote. “The recording booth is patterned after the ‘Mother’ space craft control room from the movie Alien. The robots gold mirror mixing console actually worked and was played live.”