Well-versed in Chicago house and Detroit techno and taking a nod from disco maven Giorgio Moroder, Parisian duo Daft Punk (DJs Guy-Manuel De Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter) helped blaze a trail for French techno with their 1997 debut, Homework. Led by hits like the unrelenting “Da Funk” and the dizzying “Around the World,” the album is a savory mix of borderline-cheesy filtered loops and super-simple drum machine beats and basslines. The duo’s influences are revealed sonically (“Oh Yeah” references Kraftwerk) and literally (everyone from Brian Wilson to Dr. Dre are name-dropped on the aptly-titled retro feast “Teachers”). While a few tracks are more daft than deft (“Rollin’ & Scratchin’” is a rather soulless thumper), the crunchy guitar licks of the aquatic “Fresh” and the sampled vocals and horny horns of “High Fidelity” prove that more recent groundbreakers like the Avalanches could never exist without Da Funk.
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