Thomas Bangalter Opens Up About Daft Punk's Split in Intimate Interview

“Daft Punk was a project that blurred the line between reality and fiction with these robot characters.”

If you’re hoping for a Daft Punk reunion in the future, we’re not likely to get that lucky.

French super-producer Thomas Bangalter, one-half of Daft Punk, recently sat down with BBC News for a candid interview about life after the robots. The exploratory conversation comes ahead of his first post-Daft Punk album, Mythologies

To the dismay of longtime fans, the duo in 2021 released an eight-minute video to celebrate their shape-shifting career—and call an end to it.

“Daft Punk was a project that blurred the line between reality and fiction with these robot characters”, Bangalter told the BBC. “It was a very important point for me and Guy-Man[uel] to not spoil the narrative while it was happening.”

“Now the story has ended, it felt interesting to reveal part of the creative process that is very much human-based and not algorithmic of any sort,” Bangalter continued. “It was an exploration, I would say, starting with the machines and going away from them. I love technology as a tool, [but] I’m somehow terrified of the nature of the relationship between the machines and ourselves,” he added, raising concerns about the rise of artificial intelligence in music creation.

Daft Punk.

David Black

After Daft Punk’s shocking split a few years ago, their future hung in the balance. But fans holding out for a reunion shouldn’t hold their breath, at least not in 2023.

“As much as I love this character, the last thing I would want to be, in the world we live in, in 2023, is a robot,” Bangalter added.

For Bangalter, his next step was going back to his roots and childhood. His mother and aunt were dancers, and his uncle was a dance instructor. Angelin Preljocaj, a renowned French contemporary choreographer, approached Bangalter about scoring a ballet and he immediately obliged.

Bangalter’s ballet score premiered in Bordeaux last year and is now being released as an album, Mythologies. He released its first single, “L’Accouchement,” earlier this year. 

Next month, Daft Punk will release a special “10th Anniversary” edition of Random Access Memories, which will feature never-before-heard music from the legendary duo. They recently shared the album cut “The Writing of Fragments of Time,” a collaboration with Todd Edwards.

You can pre-order Random Access Memories (10th Anniversary Edition) here. The album is due out on May 12th via Columbia.

BLOND:ISH Pushes Vinyl Industry Towards Sustainable Future With Biodegradable, Bacteria-Based Record

This first-of-its-kind vinyl compilation is entirely compostable.

BLOND:ISH continues to usher the music industry towards a plastic-free future with the release of the world’s most sustainable vinyl record.

The environmental activist, dance music producer and Madonna collaborator has released #PlasticFreeParty, a compostable compilation album made of bacteria. 

Developed in partnership with the sustainability collective Evolution Music and Deepgrooves, the world’s greenest pressing plant, the vinyl employs the use of PHAs, which function as bacterial-based replicators of physical plastics.

Bye Bye Plastic

BLOND:ISH’s nonprofit Bye Bye Plastics cites that traditional vinyl records are the most emission-intensive music medium, generating 12 times the greenhouse gasses compared to other types of music media.

The novel concept succeeds without compromising on its sonic qualities. According to a press release, the record will only begin to activate the decomposition process with prolonged exposure to moisture or while unprotected in a natural environment, meaning the integrity of the record will continue to hold up simply with standard care of this unique vinyl composition.

The 14-track #PlasticFreeParty LP includes tracks from Shiba San, Chambord and more. Fans can now pre-order the album, which drops April 11th.


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Martin Garrix and Maejor's AREA21 Drop First Live Performance Film and Companion Album: Listen

AREA21’s next evolution is now unfolding on streaming platforms via a live performance tape with dazzling production.

Martin Garrix and Maejor, the aliens of AREA21, have arrived with their first live performance film.

The collaborative project between Garrix and Maejor saw a celestial debut album release in 2021. Now they’ve dropped their first live performance film, Live on Planet Earth, alongside a companion album to cover new ground in illuminating the AREA21 mythos.

“We’ve always been dreaming of having AREA21 on stage with a band,” Garrix said in a statement shared with EDM.com. “The music on the album has been made with a lot of live instruments like real bass, real drums, so it’s amazing to be able to put that into a full live performance now.”

Now streaming, the 46-minute film features Garrix on guitar and cover performances of fan-favorite tracks such as “Spaceships” and “Followers,” among others. Fans can listen to the new live album below.

The film is available to stream on Hulu in the United States, on Star+ in Latin America and on Disney+ under the Star banner in all other territories.

Check out the Live on Planet Earth trailer below.

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Skream and Benga Tease New Music, Potential World Tour

The pioneering producers continue to fan the flames of a hotly anticipated reunion.

The long-awaited return of Skream and Benga continues to shift into focus after the storied duo teased new music.

Among the foremost innovators of dubstep and bass music, Skream and Benga have long been a celebrated collaborative force, but it’s been nearly 12 years since we last heard from them. A little over a year ago, the anticipation of a comeback began to brew, especially after Skream confirmed he and Benga had amassed a trove of at least a dozen unreleased tracks.

Now, the first teaser of new music has come to light, which Skream has dubbed “Skream and Benga 2.0.” With heavy analog arpeggiation and quivering vocal layers, the snippet is a fascinating glimpse into what could be a very different chapter from the U.K. pioneers.

The story goes beyond just new music, however. Benga chimed into the conversation to tease the idea of an upcoming world tour alongside Skream, signaling that plans are likely well in motion behind the scenes.

“We would be playing new dubstep that sounds like us!” Benga added.

Despite the excitement surrounding a potential world tour, it’s important to note that neither Skream nor Benga have formally confirmed one at the time of writing.

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Pretty Lights Announces Return With “Soundship Spacesystem Tour”

It’s been nearly five years since the iconic producer’s last performance in the summer of 2018.

Nearly five years have passed since Pretty Lights‘ last public performance, but he’s now heading back out on tour.

The fabled “Finally Moving” producer has been virtually radio silent since the summer of 2018, when he performed to characteristically sold-out crowds March 10-11 at Colorado’s Red Rocks Amphitheater. In the time since, however, rumors of his return have been disparate until very recently.

Today, Pretty Lights broke his silence and revealed his return to the live music circuit with a new tour, “Soundship Spacesystem.”

“I’ve been looking forward to this day for a long time and am immensely grateful to be healthy and happy and surrounded by amazing people. I feel recharged and more ready than ever to launch a new vision of PL music and live events,” Pretty Lights said in a statement. “Can’t wait to share everything that’s coming. And fam, seriously, thank you so much for your endless love and support. Thank you for all the positive energy while I took time to focus mine. It’s a new dawn and I can’t wait to see you all again shining bright.”

Pretty Lights’ “Soundship Spacesystem” tour will hit 27 total dates in nine cities. He also released a trailer, which is soundtracked by a snippet of new music.

The rumors of Pretty Lights’ return began to circulate when the live music watchdog Festive Owl cryptically stated that the lineup of the upcoming Suwannee Hulaween music festival was going to be unlike anything fans had seen in years.

The tie-in with Pretty Lights came when Festive Owl subsequently hopped into the iconic producer’s dedicated subreddit and proclaimed it was “time to dust off the cobwebs,” a move that sent fans into a frenzy. 

Fans immediately began tearing hell for leather on Twitter to get ahold of this lineup, which Suwannee Hulaween ultimately revealed in the wake of Pretty Lights’ announcement. He’s set to headline alongside John Summit, Elderbrook and more.

Pre-sale tickets to Pretty Lights’ “Soundship Spacesystem” tour will go on sale Wednesday, April 5th at 10am local time before general tickets release on Friday, April 7th at the same time. For more information and to sign up for the pre-sale, head here.

Pretty Lights/Twitter

Editor’s Note: This article was updated to include a statement released on social media by Pretty Lights after its publication.

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Electronic Music Community Reacts to Death of Legendary Artist Ryuichi Sakamoto

A founding member of the influential Japanese electronic music band Yellow Magic Orchestra, Sakamoto was revered as a pioneer of the genre.

Ryuichi Sakamoto, a world-renowned composer and electronic music producer, has died at the age of 71.

Sakamoto died on March 28th after a battle with cancer, according to a statement published on his website over the weekend. “We would like to share one of Sakamoto’s favorite quotes,” the statement reads. “‘Ars longa, vita brevis.’ Art is long, life is short.”

Revered for his pioneering work as a founding member of the influential Japanese electronic music band Yellow Magic Orchestra, Sakamoto had been diagnosed with cancer twice in the span of a decade. He was reportedly diagnosed with throat cancer in 2014 before the disease went into remission, but revealed he had rectal cancer in 2021.

Sakamoto’s spellbinding music is prevalently credited as a seminal influence on early techno and synthpop. The Oscar-winning composer was a Renaissance man who collaborated with legends like David Bowie, Thomas Dolby, Iggy Pop and Bernardo Bertolucci.

The late Ryuichi Sakamoto.

KAB America

Grammy-nominated electronic music producer TOKiMONSTA took to social media to share a touching tribute to Sakamoto, a “visionary artist” with whom she collaborated on 2012’s “ODAKIAS.”

“Spending time with [Sakamoto] IRL was always a treat and he had a wonderful no nonsense sense of humor,” she wrote. “I dedicated a song to him while he was well and I’m glad I did—so he knew how much I appreciated him and will do so until it’s my time. Farewell Ryuichi, I hope you’re making the weirdest, coolest, most beautiful music in your next life.”

Many more tributes poured in from the likes of Flying Lotus, The Glitch Mob and Madeon, among others. You can read them below.

We at EDM.com express our sincere condolences to the family, fans, friends and loved ones of Ryuichi Sakamoto.

Shady Park Tempe Set to Resume Operations After Dispute With Retirement Community

“This agreement will keep the music going for Shady Park’s fans while letting surrounding residents get a good night’s sleep.”

After nearly two years mired in a bitter dispute with a retirement community, Shady Park Tempe will finally reopen its doors.

The popular dance music venue was temporarily closed during COVID-19 restrictions, but its planned reopening was halted due to a dispute with Mirabella, a 20-story senior living high-rise that opened across the street. The proprietors of Mirabella were concerned about the noise levels of Shady Park’s events, according to local reports.

Now, Mirabella and Shady Park have released a joint statement announcing a resolution. Shady Park will reportedly implement enhanced sound-proofing measures at its venue, which will both preserve the ability to host concerts and reduce the impact of noise on the surrounding community. As a result, both parties are now seeking to dismiss the lawsuit.

“Our goal was a solution that worked for both parties,” said Tom Dorough, Executive Director of Mirabella in a statement. “This agreement will keep the music going for Shady Park’s fans while letting surrounding residents get a good night’s sleep. It’s a great result for the community and the City of Tempe.”

“We’re glad we were able to work with Mirabella to achieve this and look forward to welcoming everyone back to shows at Shady Park for years to come,” added Shady Park’s owner, Scott Price.

Shady Park will now begin working with the city of Tempe to acquire the necessary permits with the hopes of allowing the outdoor venue to resume operations as soon as possible. The return of Shady Park is a triumph for Arizona’s passionate electronic music faithful and marks a significant step towards the organization’s post-pandemic recovery.

Read the full statement below.

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Kyle Watson Launches New Record Label for “Music That Cuts Through the Noise”

The house music star revealed No Context Records today alongside the imprint’s debut release, “Kick Drums.”

One of the best things about house music is that it doesn’t need context to make you feel something.

That’s one of the core tenets of No Context Records, a new label from the mind of Kyle Watson. The South African house music star launched the imprint today alongside its debut release, a tameless tech house track called “Kick Drums.”

And it’s a family affair. According to a press release shared with EDM.com, Watson developed No Context alongside his wife, Tash. She says its direction is inspired by “that tingly feeling you get when the warm embrace of a good bassline wraps around your ears.”

Kyle Watson.

Forrest Mondlane

“Isolate that bassline—take it out of context—and suddenly it makes a lot less sense,” she continues. “It’s the combination of seemingly random and unrelated elements that create something truly magical, and that’s what inspires us at No Context.”

Watson is currently gearing up for a landmark performance at Coachella, where he’ll throw down in the iconic festival’s famed Yuma Tent. In the meantime, you can check out “Kick Drums” below and stream the new track here.

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“Complete Nightmare Disaster”: Zedd Lived Out Every DJ's Worst Fear at Ultra—But Still Delivered a Set for the Ages

Zedd found himself in a pressure cooker on one of the world’s biggest festival stages.

You’re about to perform for tens of thousands of fans at one of the world’s biggest festivals. You’ve been preparing for months. But minutes before you take the stage, everything falls apart.

This scenario is the stuff of nightmares for DJs—even luminaries like Zedd, whose world turned into a real-life fever dream when his plans to throw down on the Ultra Mainstage were throttled by a freak software accident. In the wake of his set on Friday night—which was still as spectacular as ever—the Grammy-winning producer took to Twitter to lament the performance, which he called a “complete nightmare disaster.”

Zedd found himself in a pressure cooker, “freaking out the entire show” after his USB and backup drives were corrupted by a software malfunction. Replying to a fan who asked why he hadn’t tested his USB prior to ensure it functioned properly, Zedd said he was producing edits until the last minute. His team didn’t have the new tracks yet and when they attempted to sync them to the thumb drive, everything went haywire.

It’s an all-too-familiar predicament for electronic artists. Updating software like Ableton and rekordbox—two industry-standard programs for music production and DJing, respectively—comes with high stakes. An artist may not have the proper drivers installed for the revamped software to communicate with their device’s operating system, leading to vexing consequences like corrupted files and missing plugins.

“Very valuable lesson learned on my side though; never update rekordbox until you’re forced,” Zedd, who seems to be in good spirits despite the dilemma, wrote in a follow-up tweet. “I’ve just not been playing shows for a little so I was WAY behind on updates and thought I maybe should.”

The fans, of course, were none the wiser. They danced and screamed as if Zedd weren’t frantically navigating technical difficulties amid an imbroglio on the nation’s biggest stage. And the consensus was that no one even noticed—a testament to the resiliency of one of the world’s greatest electronic music producers and songwriters.

A slew of Zedd’s contemporaries ultimately chimed in with their support and empathy for the unfortunate situation, which trance music icon Ilan Bluestone called “the worst feeling on earth.”

“i’m so sorry this happened to you brother, i can’t imagine how it must feel,” wrote Deorro. “being so prepared for such a show and boom, everything falls apart last minute.”

“Oh wow def didn’t notice and danced my ass off,” added Sam Feldt.

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Mau P Wins Big at 2023 EDMA's for Breakthrough Hit, “Drugs From Amsterdam”

Mau P took some victory R&R after nabbing the first awards of his blossoming career in dance music.

Mau P was particularly productive during Miami Music Week 2023, and he’s going home with the first awards of his bright career.

The “Drugs From Amsterdam” star made a splash at the recent Electronic Dance Music Awards (EDMAs) where fans showed up in droves to ensure he took top honors in two coveted categories.

The award ceremony took place at Miami’s Fontainebleau Hotel over the weekend and ultimately crowned over two dozen winners in various categories. The awards are driven entirely by fan vote, and Mau P took home the hardware for both House Song Of The Year and Dance Song Of The Year due to his influential work on “Drugs From Amsterdam.”

EDM.com was pleased to present Mau P with the Dance Song Of The Year award. The breakthrough record continues to fuel late nights on dancefloors across the world, and even after racking up tens of millions of plays, support for the song isn’t slowing anytime soon.

You can check out the full list of winners here.

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