Random Access Memories, the final album from Daft Punk released on May 17, 2013, officially celebrates its 10th anniversary this month. Leading up, the French duo have released a couple of tracks from the 10th anniversary album ahead of its official release today.
With 35 minutes of unreleased music across 9 tracks, Daft Punk shares for the first time outtakes, demos, and unreleased songs from the original recording sessions of Random Access Memories. The new tracks are described in detail in the below track by track.
As noted in its title, “Infinity Repeating (2013 Demo)” was recorded ten years ago during the sessions for Random Access Memories at Conway Recording Studios in Los Angeles and Electric Lady Studios in New York. It was created before “Instant Crush,” another Daft Punk x Julian Casablancas RIAA Platinum-certified collaboration that became a fan favorite on the original album. Dubbed the last Daft Punk song ever, “Infinity Repeating (2013 Demo)” has a dreamy, ethereal, jazzy quality. Says Casablancas about the track, “a little stranger and more jazz modern chord-wise than the others on the record. It just cycles up like a pattern – It’s a four half-step cycle moving up on repeat. I wanted Stevie Wonder to sing it. It somehow has island summer vibes too… it’s lovely and bizarre, like a human. And like a human, obsessed with infinity and constantly making the same mistakes and movements.”
RAM 10 TRACK BY TRACK
This first outtake opens with vocals by a childrens’ choir that leads into an instrumental track. This set of tracks is bookended by childrens’ choirs, as the last track in the set, “Touch Epilogue” also contains childrens’ voices. The bookending creates a mirror that emphasizes some of the main themes of this record : future nostalgia, repetition loop and infinity.
“Horizon” originally appeared exclusively on the Japanese CD version of Random Access Memories, as a bonus track and has been discovered by fans in the years since release. As the final track on the 2013 Japanese version of the album, “Horizon” gave listeners a gentle, symphonic, peaceful ending to the album. This is its first official global release.
GLBTM (Studio Outtakes):
This track is composed of outtakes from “Give Life Back To Music” recording sessions with little-to-no production, and showcases Daft Punk’s experimentation, their energy and what styles they were exploring at the time. It sounds like a jam session, but can be viewed as a research record – listeners can hear multiple inspirations, multiple directions, and multiple versions of what the song could have evolved into.
Infinity Repeating (2013 Demo):
The idea of infinity is at the creative core of this album, and is emphasized in this track. Recorded for the original album, “Infinity Repeating” brings back vocals from Julian Casablancas, who also collaborated on “Instant Crush.” Based on an infinity loop, the progression and lyrics to this track will make it echo infinitely. The concept of an infinity loop will also be reflected in the official music video as an epic ascension through human history and fate.
GL (Early Take):
This 32 second snippet of what would eventually become a Record of the Year Grammy winner is made up of studio outtakes, some cuts, studio sessions and first tests. It gives a quick glimpse into the makings of the iconic track.
Prime (2012 unfinished):
Daft Punk started work on Random Access Memories in 2008, but the project was put on pause when the opportunity to work on the Tron soundtrack presented itself. After the project was released in 2010, the focus turned back to RAM. This track, “Prime (Unfinished)” is emblematic of the time – the unfinished track shows another facet of the creative process and how some works can fall to the side along the way.
LYTD (Vocoder Tests):
On this track, listeners get a peek behind the curtain of one of Daft Punk’s signature sounds, the robot voices. Stripping the layers away, listeners hear human voices behind the vocoders, the vocoders that are used to create robot voices. They hear the robots that are looking for themselves, and the humans behind them.
The Writing Of Fragments Of Time:
Part musical track, part documentary, this track captures a foundational songwriting moment between Thomas Bangalter and Todd Edwards. With the track production finished by Guy-Manuel de Homen-Christo, Todd joins Thomas in the studio to pen the lyrics and come up with the top line melody. The curtain is pulled and the listener witnesses the very moment they come up with the defining melody and lyrics of the song – a first-ever experience with the humans behind the impenetrable robots. The track “Fragments of Time” was foundational to Random Access Memories, in which Todd Edwards (the only artist that worked twice on Daft Punk’s album) sings optimistically about how they will all feel in 10 years. “The Writing of Fragments of Time” is a dream within a dream, exploring future nostalgia, anticipation and inception, like a Russian doll. It’s a “making of” within the “making of.” Ten years after it was created, its release closes the gap of the lyrical message of the song (how will we feel in 10 years?). It’s also a dissociation from the robots, in the prism of a band who is no more.
Touch (2021 Epilogue):
This version of “Touch” was used as the soundtrack to Daft Punk’s Epilogue video, the video that announced the end of the band, posted on February 22, 2021. While the original version of the track features vocals from Paul Williams, this version has only vocals from a children’s choir repeating the lyrics “You’re home, hold on, if love is the answer,” again showcasing the core album themes of infinity and repetition loop.