Interstella 5555 The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem (part 2)
So I did my video essay about this anime, and there are a few musical things I would like to talk about, so I consider this the second part of that video.
This is an anime film and its soundtrack is the musical album Discovery composed by Daft Punk. As I mentioned in the video, the duo said that they took their childhood as an inspiration for this project. I also said this was important because it is what made them compose around this sci-fi conceptualization related to anime they watched when they were kids (Leiji Matsumoto being a big inspiration for them and also, being part of the team that put together this film).
They didn’t only work with their childhood hero and produced an anime film which was a criticism to the musical industry, with a thematic and visual treatment related to the anime they watched as kids, but they also did fun things in the music itself. There is a high amount of sampling in the album, they took music from their childhood (once again) and used it for Discovery. This was completely intentional, they didn’t intend to hide this so they openly talk about the samples they used: part of George Duke’s “I Love You More” is featured in “Digital Love”; Edwin Birdsong’s “Cola Bottle Baby” was sampled for “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger”; The Imperials’ song “Can You Imagine” is used for “Crescendolls”; Barry Manilow’s “Who’s Been Sleeping in My Bed” is credited for “Superheroes”, etc. But there’s an interesting twist in this sampling, they didn’t just take the part they wanted and edited or manipulated it to have a new meaning and artistic treatment, actually, most of the times they used someone else’s work, they recorded themselves playing it (for example, on their live dj performances) and use that material on the album. That’s quite exceptional, and it was a form of owning the piece and also give the whole work cohesion in terms of registration and quality. There are a lot of theories of other samples used all around the album, but not all of them are confirmed.
Besides this, there is also a conceptual weight around this project for Daft Punk, because they stated that, during the recording of the album, there were electronic failures that lead them to become a pair or robots. Since then, they’ve never had a show or an interview without their helmets and costumes, separating their private lives even more from such a famous musical project. Leiji Matsumoto helped them create this visual work around themselves and their music, they actually appear on Interstella briefly.
I really love how Daft Punk did things, it really made me sad to find out they were splitting up, but I’ll never forget this project and everything around it.