A few weeks ago, Daft Punk put out the first of two teasers ahead of their May album Random Access Memories. God damn if it wasn’t funky – a really organic, warm groove. What does the rest of it sound like? Where does it go from here? For lack of a full song to listen to, I decided to imagine it for myself, just for fun – trying to meld my feeling for Daft Punk’s sensibilities with my own musical tendencies.
Over the last year or so, there have been various rumors about Daft Punk working with Nile Rodgers, Giorgio Moroder and other classic dance music luminaries. The first snippet is no doubt Nile Rodgers, the way he dances around the chords – chunking and interpolating at once. Intimidating to say the least. As I sat down and got the most Nile-like Stratocaster tone I could make, I just couldn’t quite figure out what he was doing, so I called in an expert.
James Hart is one of my best friends going back to our days growing up in Pittsburgh, and it just so happens that he is a bit of a guitar savant himself. He is one of the lead singers and song-writers in The Harlan Twins – a sort of Progressive Americana rock outfit that is bumping up against the Pittsburgh scene’s glass ceiling – the go-to local opener for Wilco inclined big venue acts.
James was able to improve the chops and he got in the lab with Pete aka Nice Rec – a producer with credits as diverse as Wiz Khalifa and Pittsburgh Track Authority. We worked out the Rhodes electric piano lines, and just like that, we had our groove.
Everything from then on out was mostly a thought experiment – melding our touches and tendencies with some respectful sketches of Daft-esque sounds and structures. The result?
James Hart (of the Harlan Twins)
Guitar, Bass Guitar, Electric Piano
Michael Fichman (DJ Apt One)
Arrangement, Drum Programming, Synthesizers, Vocals, Additional Guitar, Additional Bass Guitar, Clavinet, Electric Piano, Accoustic Piano
Peter Mudge (Nice Rec)
Keyboards, Percussion and Additional Production
Recorded in Philadelphia, PA and Pittsburgh, PA, March, 2013.