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Why Are Daft Punk Commissioning Really Bad Remixes Of Their Music?

  Daft Punk have got the sort of impeccable quality control you would expect from two inter-galactic futuristic robots: their albums are generational game-changers, their live shows sublime, and they've always co-ordinated their helmets

Daft Punk have got the sort of impeccable quality control you would expect from two inter-galactic futuristic robots: their albums are generational game-changers, their live shows sublime, and they've always co-ordinated their helmets perfectly with their outfits.

The duo, at least in a lot of fan's eyes, are perfect. But perfection is their to be fucked with. The band's remixed output - up to three remix albums already, with Human After All: Remixes getting a global release this week - leaves a nasty stain on their pristine back catalogue.


Could it be sabotage? Self sacrifice? An attempt to level the playing field and get The Chemical Brothers to stop sulking? Who knows. But, as these eight examples show, the Daft Punk remix catalogue is clogged with as many turds as a pie maker's toilet.

Around the World (Motorbass Vice mix)

It's Daft Punk plus Motorbass: two of the leading lights in French Touch and responsible for some of the greatest moments in dance music history. So what could go wrong? Well, the remix could be unwieldy, awkward, boring and unsuited to that iconic "Around the World" vocal. Factor in that this was released back in the days when a major label 12 inch cost about £4.99 from HMV and you have a recipe for some serious disappointment.

Phoenix (Basement Jaxx remix)

Basement Jaxx can be an overexcitable bunch at the best of times. So was it really a good idea to let them loose on the smooth-edged, poolside house masterpiece that is "Phoenix"? Well no, as it happens, the resulting remix ended up like one of those overambitious plates at an all you can eat buffet: messy, unappetising and slightly sickly

One More Time (Romanthony's Unplugged)

Romanthony's vocal on One More Time is as celebratory as a party popper firing off a balcony. But One More Time is, frankly, up there with Rotterdam Termination Source's gabber classic Poing in the lists of songs that don't need acoustic versions. Romanthony's Unplugged strips the song of its cheerful sex oomph, thundering kick drums and vocal effects in favour of overly-earnest - and indeed rather creepy - vocal neediness. It's like Daft Punk as played by David Brent, which sounds brilliant but really isn't.


Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger (The Neptunes remix)

Many remixes of Daft Punk songs suffer from underfamiliarity: who, for example, is Cosmo Vitelli? And what is he doing to Face to Face on the Daft Club remix album? (A minor Parisian producer and bad things, it turns out).

A remix by The Neptunes - and in their early 2000s peak - well that's something to get excited about. Sadly, though, the results don't really justify your (read "my") excitement. It's not a bad track as such, it's just very underwhelming, with The Neptunes turning in drums and keyboards-by-rote, topped off with some truly awful lyrics - "they say the soul snatcher's coming, to snatch our spirits from the club" - which conspire to spoil the original song's awesome robotic vibe. Even when the Pharrell / Daft Punk love in was at its peak, around the release of Get Lucky, this song was rarely mentioned. It turns out there's a pretty good reason for that.

Human After All ("Guy-Man After All" Justice remix)

There was a time in the mid 2000s when people were pretty serious about Justice being the new Daft Punk. This 2005 remix, then, could have represented the passing of the French house torch from master to pupil.

Could, that is, if the result wasn't such a horribly fiddly turd of a song, with Justice's P-funk-on-overdrive production lumbering along like a dinosaur stuck in a tar pit and squealing synths seriously testing the patience of anyone who dares to listen on headphones. Oh, and the original's brilliant vocal - one of the highlights of the whole Human After All album - is chopped and discarded like a scrawny KFC chicken.


Human After All (SebastiAn remix)

What did Human After All do to deserve this treatment? There have been remixes of this track from Justice, SebastiAn, Alter Ego, Emperor Machine and The Juan Maclean and they all seriously suck.

The SebastiAn remix, however, gets the vote on this occasion thanks to the dreaded equation of talented producer + usual tricks x excellent original song = unwieldy mess. The razor sharp sample cutting that sounds so thrilling on SebastiAn originals like Ross Ross Ross, is just annoying here, making you long for the uncluttered brilliance of the original. In fact, this remix is either incredibly subtle and complex or essentially a bad SebastiAn track with someone saying "human" over the top from time to time.

Derezzed - Avicii remix

The track listing of Tron: Legacy Reconfigured is enough to send most Daft Punk fans to the bathroom to have a serious think about their lives. Remixers include - and I hope you're sitting down - The Crystal Method, Moby, Paul Oakenfold, Kaskade, Avicii and Sander Kleinenberg, a line up so bad that it prompted former Daft Punk manager Pedro Winter (aka the nicest man in dance music) to accuse Disney Records of taking "my robot friends so far away from good taste?"

"A masterpiece like TRON soundtrack deserved the best," he added, "and I am sad to discover the A&R at Disney records is apparently buying most of his electronic music in airport stores…"


The most airport of all tracks - amid steep competition - is Avicii's remix of Derezzed. It's not just that he's ruined one of the Tron soundtrack's best tracks, or that the Swedish producer has effectively deboned Daft Punk of all traces of Chicago house and Detroit techno, leaving them limp like an EDM lettuce. It's that at the end of the night Avicii gets to go home with a pile of cash and various supermodels in the knowledge that HE HAS REMIXED DAFT PUNK AND YOU HAVEN'T. The smugness is overwhelming.

The Son of Flynn (Ki:Theory Remix)

Wikipedia reckons Ki:Therory is "an American recording artist and producer who specialises in alternative rock with electronic elements". And as if that didn't inspire enough revulsion, he's remixed Kings of Leon, Cypress Hill, Rob Zombie and Rodrigo y Gabriela. Oh and Daft Punk too! The lucky sausage.

Ever wondered what Daft Punk would sound like with heavy alternative rock drums and tuneless electronic riffing of the kind you'd expect from a Tommy Lee EDM offshoot? Well wonder no longer.

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