Daft Punk Gets Bluesy on Saint Laurent Paris Mix

By Jim Allen

When you achieve a level of renown like the one that’s enjoyed by the world’s favorite French electro-dance duo, Daft Punk, it’s presumably possible to get a little jaded after a while with the offers that roll in. “Hey guys, care to score the new Tron movie?” Or, “Hi, would you like to make some music for the latest Louis Vuitton collection?” So it’s likely that Daft Punk wasn’t as gobsmacked as some of us might have been when Hedi Slimane asked them to offer up a mix to accompany Saint Laurent Paris’ fashion week show. Nevertheless, the duo lived up to its reputation and crafted something typically cutting edge and eminently unexpected.

Instead of arranging a sonic storm of synth riffs and thumping, buzzing, electro-based beats for the models to make their catwalk moves, DP took a broad left turn. For their 15-minute Fashion Week mix, the Gallic beat wizards looked to the late Mississippi bluesman Junior Kimbrough as their primary sound source. Singer/guitarist Kimbrough was famed for his raw, primal, undeniably sensual sound, and Daft Punk made good use of those qualities by stitching together a mix composed entirely of excerpts from Kimbrough’s recordings, with only a minimal amount of sonic sorcery tying it all together. Who knew blues and fashion fit so well together? Apparently, Daft Punk did.