January 11, 2012 § Leave a comment
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Before 1997 it would have been almost impossible imagining a rock fan dancing to a techno beat, or even dancing at all. Before 1997 rockers would hardly come close to any kind of music that didn’t involve a guitar and a real drummer. Electronica and rock music would never mix. Three records in particular changed all that almost overnight: Dig Your Own Hole by Chemical Brothers, The Prodigy‘s The Fat Of The Land and Homework by Daft Punk. Incorporating dance music into rock didn’t work out (even bands such as Ministry and Nin Inch Nails were not beyond suspicion of being “disco” among some of my peers) but it seemed to work perfectly the other way round.
Djs and knobtweakers turned into rock stars and went from playing clubs – “play” being a term that was still postponed by a huge question mark by us rockers – to playing arenas. We wouldn’t know exactly how to call these people, as the term “band” didn’t really fit, but we liked the loudness, the heaviness, the attitude of this music which sounded so new, so fresh: The Prodigy in particular, with the look and the sampled guitars, were the ones to whom the majority of long-haired leather-clad metalheads could rely to.
For me it was Daft Punk that did it. I was already timidly starting to poke into the unknown realms of electronic music merely following a timeline that led me from punk to new wave. Then I stumbled into Kraftwerk and finally realised that electronic music didn’t necessarily mean the silly annoying disco tunes that I despised. Until one afternoon, listening to the radio the DJ announced the next track: “…Aaand this is Rock’n’Roll, by Daft Punk”. It was the stupidest, most ignorant and raw rhythm I ever heard, followed by nothing more than a screeching looping sound which slowly became unbearably louder and even more irritating and it seemed to go on forever. It was all true: it was daft, it was punk and it was rock’n’roll. I loved it!
Listening again to Homework it seems to me it has aged better then the other two records mentioned some lines ago: maybe being the least “futuristic” of the three, it retained some of the allure from the decades it was already preying upon? Anyway, oddly enough, I never bought any records by Daft Punk or the Chemical Brothers (I never liked The Prodigy that much) I just taped them! I can’t remember who taped this for me: looking at the back card I can’t recognize whose writing that is. Sure enough the person who did this made a bit of a mess with the tracklist, managing to cut both Oh Yeah and Burnin’ and leaving out Indo Silver Club, Alive and Funk Ad due to lack of space. Well, it happened!