Daft Punk’s Paris studio sits on an ugly, bustling thoroughfare on the south side of town, near a train station and a hospital, behind a green garage door. To enter, you press a buzzer and present your face to a security camera, at which point the door lurches upward to reveal a lovely cobblestone courtyard and a cluster of beige buildings covered in whorls of ivy. On an early spring afternoon, Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter – lifelong Parisians, longtime friends and the compulsively secretive musicians behind the Daft Punk robot masks – are standing on the cobblestones, blinking in the sunshine like they’ve emerged from a deep cave. Which they sort of have. “It’s the first beautiful day we’ve had in weeks,” de Homem-Christo says. Nodding toward a windowless room where he and Bangalter have spent untold hours hunched over synthesizers, chasing new sounds, he musters a resigned Gallic shrug: “We’re always in the darkness, anyway.” Bangalter plucks a key from his pocket and unlocks the room – it was here, in April 2008, on the heels of a world tour, that Daft Punk withdrew to write songs for their fourth album, Random Access Memories. On the road,… Read full this story
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