Daft Punk’s path to megastardom is one littered with incredibly well-produced, instantly recognisable, and irrepressibly catchy songs. Songs that can render fans ecstatic, fellow producers envious and fellow songwriters, inspired. As such, their music has been reimagined countless times, by a number of creative minds. Daft Punk Orchestra builds upon this legacy, with 13-piece ensemble REFRESHED performing gripping live arrangements of the great electro duo’s work, over two sold out nights at Band on the Wall on 4th and 5th September. Ahead of their show, here are five of the finest Daft Punk tracks, which have been covered in the coolest and most inventive ways, over the years.
Covered by Balance and the Traveling Sounds
Before Balance and the Traveling Sounds got their hands on the love theme from Interstella 5555, it was a simple funk groove, distinct for its use of envelope filter and pristine, tuned vocal. These eight musicians turned it into a jazz-inflected, live hip-hop epic. Coaxing emotive horn lines out of the arrangement, they topped the rhythm with fresh verses and new vocal harmonies. Their creative cover finds the perfect middle ground: instantly recognisable yet sufficiently rearranged to demonstrate their creative flair and musical ability.
Covered by The Stepkids
Get Lucky may be the most covered song in recent memory. Some say that of its 350 million Spotify streams, at least three million were musicians learning the chords. But The Stepkids, once purveyors of psychedelic soul signed with Stones Throw records, put arguably the finest spin on the chart smash. Their jazz trio arrangement, complete with three-part vocal harmonies, wandering guitar lines and brushed drums, is a subtle take showing off their musical chops and sense of humour. The band appear to be on hiatus, with founding members now producing, educating and playing in other groups, but they left some great music behind!
Covered by Slum Village
Although officially a remix, Slum Village’s version of Aerodynamic is so different to the original, it certainly qualifies for this list! Some melodic ideas remain intact, but their version reduces the tempo and exchanges the bright synth motifs for more prominent drum machines and the group’s signature bars. There’s a nice story behind the remix too. According to Pedro Winter, it was done in exchange for an unlicensed sample being used in an earlier Slum Village beat. If only all musical disputes were settled so creatively!
Covered by GRIEFJOY
By bringing rich chromatic chords and interesting R&B textures into their arrangement of Da Funk, fellow French group GRIEFJOY expand the range of this g-funk-inspired track. It’s another subtle rendition, that shows the compositional depth of the Daft Punk original.
Covered by London Elektricity Big Band
Known primarily for their Drum ‘n’ Bass reworks, London Elektricity Big Band put plenty of DnB power behind their live rendition of One More Time. Splashy beats, big horns and a master of ceremonies stirring the festival crowd, made it an emphatic end to their set at Finsbury Park in 2016.