in 1999, thomas bangalter, one half of daft punk, under the guise of stardust, released the single "music sounds better with you," which ended up being one of the year's biggest dance hits. bangalter was reportedly offered 3 million dollars to produce a stardust album, but declined. now, bangalter along with guy fabulous*, dormant since the release of 1997's homework, have released "one more time" featuring new jersey garage singer/producer romanthony. what one would call the "daft punk" sound -- chunky, mechanic, heavy bottom -- was sampled liberally by mirwais on madonna's chart-topping "music," so, for this single at least, the guys steer clear of it: in many ways, "one more time" is what one would imagine the never-recorded stardust album would sound like.
like "music sounds better...," "one more time" has a very old-school disco feel with its four-on-the-floor beat and horn samples, but whereas the stardust hit struck me as very rigid and repetitive -- more experiment than song -- "one more time" is looser and more fun. paradoxically, it's also the better crafted song: the build-up at the end is great, even though it takes its sweet time.
i don't quite yet know what the upcoming daft punk album will sound like: if it'll be closer to stardust or if it'll be more akin to homework. regardless, in these heady times, daft punk -- a less crass fatboy slim and a more soulful moby -- are putting the fun in funk. what more could you ask for in your dance music?
*fabulous isn't his real last name. it's quite long and has a hyphen in it, but "fabulous" works just as well, i think.