I got extremely lucky and fortunate enough to attend the listening party in Copenhagen yesterday, May 8th. It was hard to keep my mouth shut about it and I couldn’t believe it until I was sitting in the Toldboden club by the harbour surrounded by RAM posters. I’m no journalist, just a DP fan who happened to have a good friend who knew the Sony people who arranged the event.
Once we arrived, we had to check in by the entrance and leave our phones there in small plastic bags. No NDA or contracts to sign though, as we heard people had to do at the Stockholm listening session.
The setup was amazing. The club had a fantastic set of Funktion-One speakers. I actually knew the club, just wasn’t aware of the amazing sound system - so imagine my jaw dropping once I entered the room.
Place wasn’t packed to my surprise, but I was happy it wasn’t. They played a lot of the samples Daft Punk used for Discovery as a warm-up. When the warm-up music ended, it got extremely quiet in the room. It was so tense - you could clearly tell most people were looking forward to listening to this rather than just mingling with industry people.
For about a long 10 seconds, there was complete silence in the room, and I didn’t even dare to cough to embarrass myself. Two guys entered the room with replica helmets in some coreographed walk towards the dj booth carrying the black briefcase straight from Oslo. It was really cheesy and awkward, but people laughed and clapped.
I was told by the Sony people, that they considered sending it with a courrier from Oslo, but changed plans and sent a guy to personally deliver it to their Copenhagen office. Inside was of course the album, stored on a Denon drive with phono output on the back and a playback controls on the front.
The fake Thomas and Guy-Man stood in the booth with their back to the crowd, turned on their helmets to activate the LEDs and turned around to face us. Then they plugged in the Denon drive to the system - and hit play.
From that moment on, I was infused with Random Access Memories coming out of the eargasmic Funktion-One speakers. Played on really high volume with no distortion or other loss at all, forcing people who wanted to mingle and talk to leave the room - while the rest of us indulged ourselves into Daft Punk’s new masterpiece.
Now what do I think of it? It’s absolutely fantastic. Once the guys hit play on that Denon drive with RAM stored on it, everything I watched, read, heard about the album just vanished. I was entirely focused on listening to this from the beginning to the end.
I tried to stand in the sweet spot of the room to get the best listening experience. During the listening, I danced, nodded my head, almost weapt a few tears, and my mind wandered away.
Give Life Back to Music
It felt like: “Okay guys, you’ve been waiting a loooong time for this. Forget about all the music you’ve heard before. Now, hit it baby!” Nile Rodgers swallows you into the album before you even know it with this funky stuff! They sing beautifully with vocoderized voices as the chorus. I was so happy and smiling, I forgot all about my worries and troubles. Funky and heartwarming.
The Game of Love
For me, it was like the Something About Us of RAM. It instantly touched me. I could’ve cried right there and then, but I pulled myself together. Very melancholic and evoked many of my feelings.
Giorgio by Moroder
Giorgio! It was as if we have been friends always. I love this guy. With his thick German accent telling about his life with music. Starts very groovy with great riffs. Then comes the drop on top of the click beat: “… but everybody calls me Giorgio” which made laugh in such a cheerful way that I wasn’t ready at all for the synth melody craziness that was about to come. It evolved into something magical. Definitely one of my favorites already.
As beautiful as you can expect. Chilly’s piano took me away. The combination of the melody and the robots singing is breathtaking. I want to enjoy a summer sunset with my friends and a couple drinks to this.
This is an instant hit! Totally surprised me. Really a pop-song. I liked Julian Casablancas’ vocoderized singing a lot. I expect this to be played on the radio.
Lose Yourself to Dance
For me, this is the song. I can’t get it out of my head. Woke up this morning and Pharrell started singing “Lose Yourself To Dance” in a very soul-train, 70’s disco way inside my head - together with that amazing Rodgers riff we’ve heard from the collab video. Clapping, cool riffs, and awesome MJ-style Pharrell makes this song cool. Yes, THAT IS COOL!
Magnificent in all its parts. Consists of many tracks that take you through a rollercoaster of musical emotions. Very spacey too.
I just can’t listen to the Radio Edit any more. It is truely an edit. The album version has the neat intro we’ve heard and a longer ending, but the radio version is edited in between as well. The full song is way, way better.
Honestly can’t remember much of this song. I just know it was good.
Same goes for this song, haha. Just because I can’t remember it, doesn’t mean it’s bad. It was really great!
Fragments of Time
Uuu, this one. I love this song. I expected a more sad/melancholic song after hearing the acapella in the collab. It wasn’t at all. This is such a happy summer song instead! I had to sing along with lyrics at the event. One of my favorites too.
Doin’ it Right
Panda Bear surprised me! I wasn’t anticipating that much. F*ck, it’s such an awesome track. If Daft Punk were ever to make a hipster track (in a good way), this is it. Amazing spartan beat (straight-from-Berlin-ish minimal techno sound) with Panda Bear singing greatly, while the robots intertwine with their vocoderized voices. Stadium concert track.
Loss for words. I closed my eyes and I was imagining myself flying through space through these Sonic-ish golden rings. No, I wasn’t on drugs. This escalated into unknown, unchartered territories, reaching for the ultimate climax and ending the album perfectly. I felt so small, but happy inside. Like an astronaut looking at the earth from a great distance.
I won’t rate this album. I’m no journalist as I mentioned. This is my personal experience as a Daft Punk fan.
The album is absolutely fantastic. Nothing like the Daft Punk we’ve heard before. Yes, there are parallels and elements from previous album, but this album stands on its own grounds. Very solid, conceptually cohesive, inspiring, emotional, and dance-friendly. It takes you many places. I love it.
Right now, I have a post-listening party depression. I just wanna go back to the event and listen to it again and again. My mind is trying to remember all the songs, rhythms, and lyrics. As Todd Edwards sings: “I just keep playing back, these fragments of time. And everywhere I go, these moments will shine.”