Daft Punk’s new album ‘Random Access Memories’ was leaked via iTunes last night. I told myself I wasn’t going to listen to it until June because it was gonna distract me too much from revision. This is the attitude I’ve taken with most new music recently; I’ve got a million tracks backed up in my YouTube subscriptions box and I still haven’t listened to Bonobo’s North Borders yet.
But when I went up to flat 801 to chill with my mates at about 11pm they told me they’d just finished listening to it. What was really strange to me – to the point that it actually became annoying – was that none of them seemed to have much of a reaction to it at all. When I asked them how it was, most of them just offered me stoned nods of approval and that way people put out their bottom lip and turn down the corners of their mouth to mean “Yep, pretty good.” One of them described it as “nice”. So I was left intrigued as to how the most hyped-up musical release of all time could get such a universal “meh” from my very musically opinionated friends. But then I went to the pub with some other mates and forgot about it.
I woke up this morning and checked the usual internets to find that obviously most of the online world was talking about the new Daft Punk album. For like the 3rd time this year. I wasn’t surprised. In fact, I was a bit disappointed with how predictable it was. I mean, yeah, I guess there’s nothing else going on today. City sacked Mancini last night, but no one outside City really cares.
I guess it actually offers a beautiful contrast between them and United, doesn’t it? Ferguson retired: the world clapped him out. Mancini got sacked: no one gave a fvck. It’s also incredible that at 10am #jeremykyle is already trending on Twitter. For anyone that doesn’t check Twitter regularly in the middle of the day, you’ll be both fascinated and slightly appalled to hear that Jeremy Kyle trends on Twitter pretty much every single day. That’s the cyber fallout of the job crisis.
But really the only thing anyone seems to care about today is Daft Punk. Which is testament to the greatest artistic marketing campaign in the history of the human race. That’s what people should be marvelling at. Columbia’s marketing team. Because they’ve successfully convinced most of the world over the last 6 months that Daft Punk are the best thing to happen to music since the Greeks first stretched a cow skin over a grape barrel.
From individual arse-licking sessions by other highly-respected musicians, released via the Creators’ Project so that it would be advertised through Vice, which is pretty much the coolest thing to go through right now (that’s not me bumming Vice, that’s me asking you what’s considered cool by more people?), to announcing the official launch to be at some hick farming festival in Australia purely so that it would get reblogged and retweeted by everyone with working fingers – they’ve milked the internet for all its worth.
Oh and don’t try to tell me that this ‘pre-launch leak’ is in any way accidental. There’s no mistake here. How else were they going to get everyone to share the full album like a tickly cough in freshers’ week? That’s right – give people a way to appear cooler than their mates by finding and sharing a cheeky leak of the album before anyone else. This was all part of the master plan by those cunning old robots. “The puny humans” they snicker, as they tap the tips of their metal fingers together in a pyramid, “they are so predictable, so malleable. They are but puppets under our mastery.”
Don’t get me wrong – I like Daft Punk. Two years ago I downloaded their discography and listened to it all, and kept about 10 tracks. That’s become about 5 tracks now, but I really do like those 5 tracks (although I’m still quite puzzled as to why no one seems to care that ‘One More Time’ sounds so weak and thin and poorly mastered). And ‘Music Sounds Better With You’ by Stardust (aka Thomas Bangalter aka the silver robot) is one of my all time faves.
But I don’t love them. There are loads of DJs, producers and bands I’d much rather pay to see. Despite this, even I got a little caught up in the hype in the last couple of months, allowing myself to agree blindly with Todd Edwards and Gorgio Moroder that the mysterious Frenchmen were cyborgs built with higher objective musical knowledge and ability than anyone else.
So, yeah, I woke up this morning to find that the world and his wife suddenly had an opinion on the new album, and most of it just really annoyed me. So I took the time to single out the 5 groups of people with the most annoying reactions to Random Access Memories:
1. People Pretending To Love It
Loads of people really like the album, which is fine. Some people love the album, which is fine. Some people are pretending to love the album because they’ve been told that this is what good music sounds like, even though they don’t understand why it’s good and actually just find it kinda boring, which is really fvcking irritating. These people encapsulate all the pretentious bullshit that people hate in “hipsters”, and don’t even have the courtesy to wear something stupid on their heads or faces or bodies for us to laugh at to ourselves while they spew some shit poem that changed their life all over our ears, because in this instance their view is actually the more predictable one.
Out of all the people that claim to love the new Daft Punk album, I don’t know which ones actually appreciate Chilly Gonzales’ “widdling”, as Sam Wolfson delightfully put it, and which ones think that if they leave a couple of tweets about how much they can’t get enough of #RAM at the top of their DJ/producer/sound designer Twitter profile then the next 100 random people that they follow today will surely be more likely to follow back because they will see that they clearly have a fine-tuned and superior ear for cultured and classy music, which will help them edge closer to that 10,000 follower mark, irrelevant of the 1:1 follower:following ratio and the fact the “music” they produce is exactly the kind of generic, manufactured, recycled shite that the new Daft Punk album is intended to pick a fight with.
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2. Disclosure Fans
Disclosure are a strange one, because while they have this really cool sound which is inspired by underground garage and UK bass but completely original and new, it also happens to be such good party music that they instantly got sucked into the mainstream because their tracks flow effortlessly into mixes with Rita Ora and Gangnam Style, meaning Latch and White Noise get blasted through Oceanas across the land. And this means that they took on loads of mainstream fans. Fans that don’t have any knowledge of or respect for the underground scene that formed the type of music Disclosure make, or in fact have any awareness of any properly influential music beyond The Beatles.
So Disclosure have ended up with a fan base split right down the middle. One group recognise a top night to consist of pulling on a beanie, bombing half a gram of MD and dancing their legs off in a warehouse til 6am before coming home to blaze zoots through the comedown until they fall asleep and wake up the following afternoon, remembering what a top night they had, but inexplicably feeling a bit depressed.
The other group imagine a top night to be drunkenly singing along to the songs they recognise from Key 103 in a tacky bar full of fake tan and v-necks and then fvcking each other, fighting each other and/or chundering over each other before suddenly waking up in some randomer’s bed wondering if they should get checked for an STD.
This makes it quite interesting when Disclosure put up a Facebook status asking what their fans think of the new Daft Punk album. See, the former group prophesise about how the robotic descendents of the god of music are leading a revolution to rescue the world from manufactured EDM by returning to their roots in analogue synthesisers and real instrumentation to create feel-good ‘dance’ music in the truest sense of the word and show people what it really means to ‘create’ electronic music, and so, objectively, however good the music actually is, this album is a masterpiece. However, their highly articulate revelations fall on deaf ears as the hungover chart-lovers return with incessant grunts of “boringggg”, “shite” and “what a load of bollocks”.
It’s a viscious whirlwind of over-snobbery and willful ignorance that only serves to make both sides seem equally as obnoxious.
3. Vice Fans
I use the term ‘fans’ loosely here because I genuinely don’t know if these people ‘like’ Vice on Facebook because they actually like Vice or because they get a kick out of cyber-bullying four times a day. You know the ones I mean: on almost every single Vice post on Facebook, there’s some dickhead that comments “fvck off vice”. I get that sometimes they post absolutely terrible articles that do require a stern telling off. But abusing Vice seems to now have become a trend that causes a cascade of anger to be showered down upon them on almost every article they upload. Even the good ones.
It’s probably because many of their funniest and most-shared articles have been the ones that include calling people names, the use of foul language, and/or ones that show people an alternative thing to do or think which is cooler than the mainstream. So, naturally, much of their fan base like nothing more than calling people names, the use of foul language and doing and thinking things that would be classed as alternative and cool.
Only, the fans aren’t as good as Vice at pointing their abuse in the right direction so it generally just gets fired everywhere all over Vice’s various pages, which mostly involves being fired at fellow Vice fans and Vice itself.
And also, by nature, after following Vice because they are alternative, and then surrounding themselves in that alternative culture, in which everyone wants to be alternative from each other, they begin to want to be alternative from Vice, and so begin to dislike the things that Vice does or says to establish themselves as an alternative, independent entity. You see, it’s all just a competition to be the most alternative.
And so, by ripping on Vice, they win. Until someone abusively calls them out for trying to be alternative to Vice, at which point the person who has called them out becomes the most alternative and gets to hold the quirky sceptre and sit on the lob-sided throne. It is then their turn to roll the dice.
So when Random Access Memories got presented all over Vice and Noisey it got caught in the crossfire of abuse and alternativeness and took some serious damage. Many people decided that because Vice was presenting it as a cool thing, they had no choice but to call it shit. One person called the album “commercial shite”, which led another person to comment that they “can’t even tell if that’s irony” and the conversation was left as a mystery as to whether the automatic alternative comment was said ironically in an attempt to be doubly alternative or whether the person was, in fact, just an idiot. One person commented “inb4 all the trendy faggots who’re too cool for Daft Punk”, but by the time she had typed and posted her comment, there were already six comments by trendy faggots who are too cool for Daft Punk.
4. People Who Don’t Like Daft Punk
People who paused Thrift Shop on YouTube to listen to the new Daft Punk album. People who couldn’t listen to the new Daft Punk album until this morning because they spent last night shredding metal guitar with their Slayer tribute band in an empty bar. People who thought that the Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger tune was written by Kanye West before they were angrily corrected in a YouTube comments section. People who have a Justin Bieber Twitter account. An Inuit family who discovered wider civilisation late last November.
What’s that? You don’t like any of the new Daft Punk album except for Get Lucky??
GR8 COMENT BRO!!1! XD
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Obviously. Just because they’re nothing new doesn’t mean they’re not annoying.
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After reading the reactions by all of those people this morning I’m definitely not as annoyed by my friends’ reaction to the new Daft Punk album. In fact, after listening to the album three times over as I wrote this article, I concluded that I completely agree with them. Random Access Memories won’t go down in history as the massive flop that the internet wants it to be, just like it won’t revolutionise modern dance music for years to come.
It’s just nice.
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