In the Mix: Electronic Funk Legends Daniele Baldelli and Daft Punk
Daniele Baldelli Boiler Room Bali DJ Set: The mood is right starting off the night with Daniele Baldelli. The DJ calmly paces himself as he plays a spacious and tropical melody of bongo drums and electric guitar. He gradually increases the tempo with a patient, yet anxious crowd. Baldelli masters the chill dance music until the electronic synths make way with an accompanying pounding tempo becoming louder and stronger.
The artist is able to constantly take it back and forth between this intense electronic beat, and the calm background beat he began with. Alike most Boiler Room performances, Baldelli’s only gets stronger. You can tell he is intently focused and purposeful in his craft.
Daniele creates a more industrial vibe by adding heavy sounds with the electronic style he keeps at arms length. Words are added to the performance at about a quarter way through the hour-long set. Daniele excites the crowd by using breaks and silence in the vocals before showing off with a big move on the board.
At the 25-minute mark, the DJ’s producing really sounds like a track that would be on Daft Punk’s Discovery. Bongo drums surround the electronic instrumental voyage, and now we really start to see the crowd respond that this is in fact dance music.
It’s very interesting and peculiar that mixing tropical bongo drums with robotic music can sound so correct when it is so wrong. Regardless of what style Baldelli is producing, the important part is that he can mix anything correctly; he has the skill and precision.
The DJ dives into funk and dips half of his body in electronic techno, with one arm in Afro beat music. He mixes through all of these genres with such impressive grace that it is almost difficult to tell where each style separates. The audience grows as the show goes on and the veteran DJ shows off more of his skills. For his final blowout, Baldelli comes full circle to a disco beat with a lovely alto saxophone solo that gets interrupted by a typical electronic synth. Daniele Baldelli has many years behind his belt alike Daft Punk. His skill in producing and mixing music is proven in his many performances like the Boiler Room in Bali.
Discovery – Daft Punk: Daft Punk’s LP "Discovery" enabled the group to reach an international audience and put them on the map as the dance music luminaries of the early 2000s. It has been 16 years since the record's release in 2001. Some songs off the LP, including “One More Time,” “Digital Love” and “Harder Better Faster Stronger” (to name a few), still hit home and circulate nearly two decades later.
Interestingly enough, when the album first came out in 2001, Daft Punk received a lot of confused, disappointed feedback from critics. The record was called just about everything from annoying to “resoundingly stupid,” and even a “definition of hell.” Making dance music with infusion of disco, funk and electronics was daring for the French duo to pursue at this time. Conveniently for Daft Punk, "Discovery" is arguably the best dance album of its time, and their careers span over the course of 20 years with no foreseeable end.
The legendary "One More Time," swirls throughout your bones. The words, “Music’s got me feeling so free/Celebrate and dance so free…” couldn’t be more fitting. Singer Romanthony, has irreplaceable vocal delivery and enunciation on "One More Time." The track is a perfectly feel-good, timeless song – funky bass and uplifting synths and tones never get old. Another track that absolutely stuck with people (for good reason), is the duo’s "Harder Better Faster Stronger." When this hit comes on it’s actually an obligation to get up and dance. Who thinks of this stuff? Daft Punk does. The duo somehow makes a robotic melody catchy. We can tell Kanye West felt similarly by sampling the track on his 2007 "Stronger."
"Digital love," is exactly that. Romantic lyrics are sung about a dream with that special someone. A beautiful, happy guitar tune sticks with overlapping riffs and robotic, electronic effects. The song breaks off into a synthesizer solo, and is gradually lifted by the powerful electric guitar and electronic keyboard. This similar light-hearted producing and vocal exists in "Face to Face."
A much needed break comes with "Nightvision," a peacefully slow and psychedelic interlude. Proceeding "Nightvision," is the wild and vibrant "Crescendolls," with a throbbing drum beat and rapid tempo. I would suggest a skip over the "Superheroes" track – that’s if you'll mind the same “Gold in the air” run-on that repeats itself over mind-racing music. Differently from "Superheroes," the music presented in "High Life" has real potential, but fails to rise to the occasion due to another instance of repetition in the lyric.
Refreshingly, Punk makes a comeback with the irresistible 70s funk vibe carried out by "Something About Us." “It might not be the right time/I might not be the right one/But there’s something about us...” The instruments come in gently, but also pierce your soul with every note. The final track "Too Long," also comes in smoothly with soft harmonies and snaps. The pace picks up, and the 10-minute track arises into electronic house.
Daft Punk’s "Discovery" is an album that came to define their identity, and serves as a landmark for the plentiful years of artistry to come.