Daft Punk’s Discovery is a record that looked into the future and liked what it saw; an album that predicted the electronic music explosion, YouTube and the end of privacy, while dragging soft rock back into vogue. Discovery was not only one of the best albums of the 2000s, it was one of the most prophetic, the kind of record that makes you wonder: how did they know?
You can draw lines from Discovery to Glass Swords, Kanye West, EDM, Autotune, iTunes, Beyoncé, Guilty Pleasures, social media and more. Discovery’s footprints can be found all over the modern world but it also looked back to Daft Punk’s childhood, to Van Halen records, Japanese cartoons and even Johann Sebastian Bach.
Discovery was a record that confounded many fans when it was released in 2001, thanks to its blatant pop hooks and unlikely sonic bricolage. It was a record that was – and still is – widely misunderstood; Discovery’s impact has only become clear with the passing of time, as Daft Punk have been proved right time and time again.
“Incredible biography of the most colossal electronic act of our generation, by one of the best music writers of our time. Ben Cardew charts the history of Daft Punk from their humble rock band beginnings, to starting the groundbreaking and genre-defining Roulé records, to achieving stadium status as superhuman robot selectors.” Sinjin Hawke
“Ben Cardew has an undeniable knack for storytelling and unearthing all the gritty details. If you’re looking for the ultimate Daft Punk biography, look no further.” Zora Jones
“Ben Cardew says that he’s been writing about Daft Punk for 25 years, yet in The Future Unfurled, what’s striking is that he’s still finding new insights about the band. Turning his focus to Discovery, once considered the runt of the French duo’s catalogue, Ben walks us through the album’s various innovations: the way it rescued soft rock from the clutches of kitsch. The way it pointed the way for the coming decades of “visual albums.” And even the way it laid the groundwork for the mainstream EDM boom. All that, and in prose that sparkles like the chrome on the robots’ helmets.” Philip Sherburne (Pitchfork)
“As much as Daft Punk were able to create enormous hit records, they were also always a very sophisticated project, making music about music. In the same sense, Ben Cardew’s dense book is not just about Daft Punk – it’s about all that context they brought to their records, all those fields of references, all these hallucinated, hauntological memories they packed into their sound. Cardew does an amazing job of getting the reader into their zone!” Hans Nieswandt (Whirlpool Productions)
“The lore of Daft Punk is finally decoded. In this essential history, Cardew shows how the robot’s seminal, oddball record bucked tradition and changed the sound of popular music. Discovery proves that Daft Punk were human after all.” Charlie Harding, Switched On Pop