I love the new Daft Punk album. In my opinion it’s compositionally fantastic, but the feeling that listening to it evokes in me goes far beyond beats and chords and samples.
When I was growing up I always had music in my life; my parents were always playing classical music at immense volume from their Quad ESLs, my sister introduced me to the magic of Queen and Bowie, my school and family encouraged choral singing, and I went to as many operas and concerts as I could. I loved all this stuff and it’s stuck with me, but when I became a teenager I found electronic music and it just clicked. Underworld, Daft Punk, The Prodigy; they were the records I would buy and the music I would listen to when I had the opportunity.
No one I knew listened to this kind of music. My peers were listening to Soundgarden and Nirvana, which I found far too depressing and really couldn’t get into. As the quieter nerd of the group I didn’t see myself as the sort of person who should be listening this sort of music. And so, I largely kept it to myself, listening to it on my Discman. I sought solace in John Peel (rest in peace) on BBC Radio 1 late at night and from his show I learned about other electronic music, and other new exotic genres of music that piqued my interest.
I dreaded when people would ask what you enjoyed listening to. It may sound stupid, but I felt I would be judged by my listening habits, and peer pressure made me desperate to conform.