“Robot Rock” is the first single from Daft Punk’s 2005 album Human After All. While the single reached a moderately high chart position, many critics found the song overly repetitive. It features sampled portions of “Release the Beast” performed by Breakwater.
The sample features a synthesizer riff with an oscillator sync timbre, as well as percussion and power chords on an electric guitar. Daft Punk incorporated a vocoder into the production, repeating the title phrase of “Robot Rock”. Aside from the sampling, Thomas Bangalter noted that the duo used a Moog synthesizer with guitar pedals for the song.
Hear the song below:
“Robot Rock” by Daft Punk
Human After All (2005)
The Breakwater sample is credited on the single’s sleeve and on the liner notes of the parent Human After All album. Bangalter explained that on his Roulé label, “we’ve been doing records that are 9 minutes with only [a single] one second loop, with even less foundation than there is on ‘Robot Rock’. It’s always been a way to reinterpret things—sometimes it’s using [an] element from the past, or sometimes recreating them and fooling the eyes or the ears, which is just a fun thing to do.”
He elaborated that the song “is a tribute to the power of heavy rock chords. In a way I think we were exploring if you can take the essence of rock—that power—and mix it with dance. But to take a riff and loop it is to explore the core of rock.”
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