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Thomas Bangalter is part of Daft Punk, the Grammy-winning electronica/dance duo responsible for hits like "Around the World," "One More Time" and "Get Lucky."
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Thomas Bangalter was born in Paris, France, in 1975. He joined with close friend Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo to become iconic dance/electronica duo Daft Punk. The Grammy-winning pair released lauded albums Homework and Discovery and had hits like "Around the World," "One More Time" and "Digital Love." Daft Punk had its first U.S. No. 1 album with 2013's Random Access Memories, led by the single "Get Lucky."
"Computers were never designed in the first place to become musical instruments. Within a computer, everything is sterile—there's no sound, there's no air. It's totally code. Like with computer-generated effects in movies, you can create wonders. But it's really hard to create emotion."
"[Electronic music artists] are overcompensating with this aggressive, energetic, hyperstimulating music—it's like someone shaking you. But it can't move people on an emotional level."
"The late '70s and early '80s is the zenith of a certain craftsmanship in sound recording."
"One thing I like about the masks is that I don't have people constantly coming up to me and reminding me what I do. It's nice to be able to forget."
Thomas Bangalter was born on January 3, 1975, in Paris, France. He met his friend and future musical partner Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo while the two were eighth-grade students at Lycée Carnot. Inspired by Italian disco after a class trip to Pompeii, the two soon made their first song together.
Bangalter and de Homem-Christo eventually rocked out in the indie band Darlin'. The group's single, a cover of a Beach Boys song, was panned in a British review that contained a phrase that inspired the name they would use as dance-based artists—Daft Punk.
After releasing their first single in 1993—"The New Wave"—and having a hit with the track "Da Funk," the duo made their full-length album debut with 1997's Homework, a propulsive, critically acclaimed collection that also featured "Around the World." They followed up four years later with 2001's Discover, which many consider another seminal album, full of innovative sampling work featuring the joyous "One More Time" and the bouncy, whimsical "Digital Love." The duo also put forth a collection of remixes, Daft Club (2003).
In between his Daft Punk duties, Bangalter had also founded his own label, Roulé, and as the act Stardust released the 1998 single "Music Sounds Better With You," another opus of club-floor exuberance. He scored the controversial 2003 film Irreversible as well.
Aesthetically, the Daft Punk duo are known for masking their faces with superhero-inspired robot helmets, evoking a "sci-fi glam" look, as Bangalter said in a 2013 Rolling Stone interview.
In 2005, the duo released the album Human After All, and more than two years later dropped the live album Alive 2007, which won a Grammy for Best Electronic/Dance Album. Its version of "Harder Better Faster Stronger" also won for Best Dance Recording. Daft Punk later made a foray into soundtrack work (including a movie cameo) with the 2010 sequel Tron: Legacy.
2013 became a banner year for the duo with the release of Random Access Memories in May. The album, with its fusion of warm soul/dance and electronic sounds, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard album charts, the first of the band's albums to do so after a two-decade career. And groovy lead single "Get Lucky," co-written by Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers, reached the top five on the pop charts. Additional members of the musical cast of Memories include Panda Bear, Julian Casablancas, Todd Edwards, Paul Williams and Giorgio Moroder.
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