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LABEL: Virgin RELEASE DATE: February 16, 1998 GENRE: French House
// review by SoyBomb

Funky, but not revolutionary.

Daft Punk's pretty famous. You might have heard of them. Their influence on house music, particularly that of the French house movement, is practically indisputable at this point. Their debut album, Homework, was a breath of fresh air to the electronic music community, even if I didn't think it was a solid 10/10 album in my own review. The album is mostly known for its two popular singles: "Around the World", with its unmistakable vocal hook and simple but highly effective bassline; and "Da Funk", with its absolutely growlingly-good bass hooks. But sometimes we forget that there were two other official singles from that album, remembered mostly by Daft Punk's hardcore fanbase, though not by the masses, one of which was "Revolution 909", released over a year after Homework in February 1998.

Perhaps one reason why casual listeners Revolution 909 doesn't have the same pull factor as the more popular Daft Punk singles of the time. Looking at the Radio Edit after the police tell a raving crowd to "stop the music and go home", a take on the French government's position regarding raves in general, the focus lies more on the hard-hitting house beats and scritchy hi-hats than anything else. There are constant light hums of soft synths in the background that add to the atmosphere, but that inimitable house rhythm drives the song in the end. Revolution 909 is an interesting choice for a single, though, as it doesn't contain any major hook, relying on smooth flow to guide it along.

House legend Roger Sanchez also takes a stab at this tune, rolling in with rough faded beats reminiscent of the original while adding his own special vocals: a deep-voiced man saying "Revolution". How...revolutionary? (Yes, the "909" is added later.) Sanchez's take on the track becomes a bit more chaotic with additional elements lain over the original, giving the song a wilder, more carefree flavour. As wacky as this remix gets, I'm still going to give the nod to the original, as it manages to keep a stronger focus.

Also in this package is the Revolution Acapella featuring JUST the bonus Sanchez vocals, as well as the full mix of Revolution 909 as featured on the Homework album.

Although Revolution 909 lacks a determinable hook or feature that makes it stand out, there's something about the track that just feels right. It's smooth as silk and doesn't try to push itself too hard into your face. Roger Sanchez's remix didn't really do much, aside from adding those crystal-clear vocal samples and make the original feel like someone slipped a tab into your water cup...and then you find out it was an Alka-Seltzer. It's still worth a listen for house fans and deserves a spot in the Daft Punk Hall of Fame.

Of course, we also can't forget the very, very tomato-oriented music video...


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