Photo: André Felipe, capturing Daft Punk in Tronworld São Paulo.

Daft Punk is on a mind-blowingly cool tour. Aside from, you know, being Daft Punk, they’ve assembled dazzling futuristic visuals, slick leather jumpsuits, and sophisticated, animated LED helmets.

What? You want to tour with LED helmets, too? It’s easy, outlined in a PDF by the creators. I can make the steps even more brief:

1. Cast your face and make a bust of the face and clay models of all the parts.
2. Modify a motorcycle helmet for the electronics.
3. Design your own LED display and controller board.
4. Glue in LEDs … one … at … a time … and connect three feet of wiring per LED.
5. Build another custom PC board for a control keypad on the armband. (Hey, step #3 was easy enough, right?)
6. Custom manufacture all the exterior plastic and finishing.
7. Paint

What, you’re telling me not only do you not have your own custom-designed leather jumpsuits and LED helmets, you don’t even have your own toy? Photo by Skull Kid, via Flickr.

The best way to experience all of this is in person, naturally, but here’s a roundup of some terrific coverage.

Daft Punk Concert report and lots of technical details, via our friend Chris O’Shea / Pixelsumo (who points to all the details on the visuals and costumes)

Word of an Upcoming Daft Punk Movie, from our friend and CDM contributor Quantazelle (Liz McLean Knight)

Many, many, many Daft Punk videos on

Brilliant black-and-white snaps backstage on Flickr from leather jumpsuit designer Hedi Slimane

Alien, futuristic action figures — because they can.

Yet another live shot, by .hmuk, via Flickr

Gobs of videos of the pair in action:

The utter rockness of Daft Punk:

Want more style when dancing to Daft Punk? Just bend the fabric of space and time to warp your dancing moves. Or, um, video it and then do it in post, as this young woman does (via the lovely EtherBomb blog):

And the upcoming movie trailer:

No YouTube round-up of Daft Punk would be complete with out Music thing’s “visual aid” to the samples used in the songs:

See Tom’s blog entry for full discussion.

  • so they dont actually play any music live? Just the c3po dance moves?

  • el paolo

    Well, they certainly remix a number of their tracks, so there seems to be a decent amount of variation from the original tracks; at least, that's what I can tell from having watched quite a few live videos (especially from the Hyde Park show). I was skeptical that it would be too choreographed, and while I'm sure it is quite scripted, the overall experience looks incredible. Two-hour dance party with them DJing? I'm in. I bought my ticket to Red Rocks the other day. Fourteen hours from Minnesota…but a few buddies for company and a few nights camping should make this an ideal summer concert trip. I can't wait.

  • Seriously…Daft Punk puts on an entertaining show–but why in the world is everyone so crazy about their dull, repetitive, and unbelievably-derivative music? "Around the World" was a good jam, but everything else I've ever heard from them literally bores me to tears.

  • Derek,

    It's all about the live show. I can't listen to any of their albums all the way through on a normal day, but when I saw them at Coachella it was unreal. They're very good at the push and pull of energy that any live performer should have.

  • Yeah, I thought that was pretty much answered by the massive, absurdly expensive visuals and costumes. Do that and "you looked like you were checking your email" doesn't come into play. Or, at least, you looked like you were checking your email *five hundred years into the future.* See? Awesomeness.

    I'm all about a good show, so I'm not complaining. See also the phenomenal visual rock style in Japan (and I expect equivalents elsewhere in the world).

  • el paolo

    Dull, repetitive, and unbelievably-derivative music? I can see the last two, but I have a hard time with dull. Maybe I just keep replaying Interstella in my mind as I listen to Discovery.

    If you can take this as a "I'm not asking you to prove me wrong" request, how about a few recommendations, Derek? Say, like, five electronic artists you've been into lately?

  • Adrian Anders

    Homework is by far the best "House" album of the 90's and one of greatest of all time. I find it facinating how they managed to make the minimalist sound of Revolution 909, Phoenix, and Rollin' & Scratchin' so damn engrossing. Far from dull and repetitive.

    It's funny, when I heard the phrase "A Meta-Roundup" I was almost certain Peter would bring up the Kayne West track Stronger's repurposing of Harder Better Faster Stronger which in itself samples heavily of Edwin Birdsong's Cola Bottle Baby. Now THAT'S Meta!


  • octatone

    well to avoid the checking your email syndrome, bring a few wii remotes and wave 'em like glow sticks at a rave…

    regardless if you are actually effecting the music with them.

    that and bop your head to the beats.

  • @Octatone: I think we need to start compiling a list of all the WORST ways to add performance presence. Good start! 😉

    Hey, *actual* glow sticks with accelerometers attached ain't such a bad idea…

  • Lost

    Just got my ticket for August 9th in Keyspan Park! Who's gunna be there? I'm hoping to leave without a solid face. At the very least.

  • octatone

    Peter, you just gave my a great idea.

    Marshalling wands … with wii remotes inside!


  • dead_red_eyes

    What about putting the Wii-motes guts into a guitar?

  • octatone

    well you could just duck tape it to the neck or something.

  • here are some original daft punk samples:

  • poopoo

    Those helmets cost $14,000 to produce and a year to produce?!?!

  • omigod. Best CDM post ever ever. I mean it. I haven't been this excited since I saw video of the chemical brothers in japan with their LASERS. Thank you.

  • Lost

    Hey chris. The chemical brothers are so not in now so don't even try. Pitchfork panned there last album. Jeez. I mean if your gunna try and sound cool at least aim.

  • @Lost: I hope Pitchfork hasn't become the determining factor in what makes music good or musicians cool. Anyway, I happen to know Chris (see his website), and he's a brilliant new music / classical musician … and very cool.

    One of my mates VJed the Hillary Duff tour, so stage eye candy can always outdo the musical act. 😉

  • Lost

    I was being quite sarcastic.

  • Lost

    Thought he was too. woops. ~~~>inverse.

  • @Lost: Crap. I'm sorry.

    I'm not into emoticons, so maybe when we — at long last — upgrade CDM's comment system, I'll put in:

    1. a new style in CSS for sarcasm

    2. a filter that keeps any annoying comment from getting through

    The combination of the two should avoid misunderstandings.

    With zero irony:

    Lasers rock. Crystal Method alone — no rock. Crystal Method with lasers — rock.

    Pitchfork – meh, whatever. (Though they are putting on an awesome music fest in Chicago next weekend.)

  • Lasers and strobes!

    Jean Michel Jarre has been on this scene for years. Respect.

    So many good comments. I'd just like to add that the "stage show" option is seen in rock shows as well. There's lots of rockers that have put on make-up, leather outfits, platform shoes, and huge inflatable props. I know this sounds like a night at Rob Halford's house.

    I do think that being into what you're doing. Dancing and grooving about makes a big difference whether DJing or playing the Tuba.

  • Lost

    Eh Pitchfork is good for knowing when daft punk is gunna be a train ride away. Or when radiohead brush their teeth. (all seriousness) Other than that nothing. And to keep the waters clear Dig your own hole was the first electronic album i ever listened to znd liked and i wish i wasnt like 12 when daft punk and the chem bros toured together. other than that sarcasm-o-meters would be sweet.

  • @Lost: No worries – I can totally see how my original post could be misconstrued as well. To say I'm overly-earnest about music I like would be an understatement…

    I checked out the Pitchfork review and found it quite interesting that the first two paragraphs (which is probably about as much as most people get through) talk exclusively about them "falling out of fashion" and "electronica" being a "failure as a mass-culture life-style trend" before a word is said about what is on the album being reviewed.

    And by the way "Dig Your Own Hole" was my first electronic record as well – I had been messing around with trackers (!) for a couple years trying to make this thing that I was imagining, then all of a sudden there it was. I devoured it, ran back to Tower (RIP) and purchased Orbital's "Insides", Aphex Twin "Come to Daddy EP", and Prodigy "Experience". It was right around the time "Electronica" became, like, a section of the record store you could browse… those were the days…

  • @DJ McManus: My grandfather used to put on Jarre's "Oxygene" at bedtime when I was, like, 6. No wonder I have electronic sounds hardwired into me… I believe there was Ray Lynch "Deep Breakfast" in there too but we won't talk about that…

  • typodaemon

    My favourite Chemical Brothers album is Surrender. Mass media declared it their worst album, so I stopped listening to what they say about the chems. Maybe I'm bitter.

    Regardless, very excited about their upcoming album – should be soon, eh?

    Also, does anybody remember Orbital's "The Box"?

  • To me Pitchfork reviews always sound like the author's parents wasted their money on that media studies degree.

    The obsessive literary reductionism sucks the fun and mystery out of music. I think we all get the joke with Pitchfork, I just wish it were funnier.

    Jarre still has these guys beat for his stage shows and concerts. Chris Thompson, sounds like you had a very cool Grandfather. That album is a classic. So "electronic" and musical.

    I do like Daft Punk's early stuff. When I put a Derrick May classic on though, I can't help feeling that these guys (Daft and the Chems) are a side track from pure electronic music.

    All comments were made for conversation. Just thoughts between friends. Please take no personal offense, unless you were in the Prodigy, then you do in fact suck eggs. 😉

  • Indeed ironic: out of fashion is totally in.

    I'm just glad I don't have to write music reviews on any kind of regular basis. Terrifying.

    Anyway, I think people are more interested in music blogs that point them to artists (music listening blogs I'm talking now, not this site) … that and absurdly cheap tickets, which Pitchfork did deliver to Chicago in a sold-out weekend of music. I'm guessing Pitchfork just got a lot more popular in Chicago.

  • James

    inside the pyramid, check it out

  • @James: Interesting — looks like dual Moog Voyager Rack Mount Editions (x2, for a total of four), plus what I think is an old X-Session (not the Pro, the Novation-designed model later sold by M-Audio). And then I guess they're adding laptops to that.

  • Rozling

    Excellent post! I was just moaning about how there's not enough Daft Punkness around when this comes along! My first nightclub experience was on a school trip in Italy when I was 15 or something. I'd never really witnessed/taken notice of mixing until the DJ produced two copies of Homework and proceeded to blow my mind. They've always had a special place in my heart since then…

    The midi controller in the pics is the Behringer BCR2000 – not what you'd expect from them!

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  • Peter – It's not an X-session, it's a Behringer BCR2000. They have one on either side!

    I'm not sure if this gives the BCR2000 cred, or perhaps it gives cred if you have enough money to hide the BCR2000 inside an LED encrusted pyramid…

  • They're Daft Punk. They probably can hire someone to write new drivers for the thing.

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  • The movie is so terrible brilliant!

    I saw it at this year's Rotterdam Film Festival (Dutch) and I just realized it was brilliant in the train back home.

    When you're watching the film, it actually progresses too slow, but afterwards (even months later as I'm typing this) you'll remember every. single. shot. from this movie.

    (once again:) go. see. it. … !

    in return I'll be going to see 'em live anytime soon!


    Seen at Traffic festival…this f**g pyramid drove me crazy..great concert!

  • Foster

    The link to the PDF file for the helmets is not working… anyone have that PDF to email me?

  • oh god, thank you for the instruction. I'm making Thomas' helmet for halloween/my senior project, minus the LED lights. I was getting stressed out.

  • Glen Brackenridge

    I heard a rumour that it was actually the eye candy twins underneath the daft punk helmets? These rumours are rife but i did notice the daft punk guys looked taller and of similar height.

  • Gio

    Why is Ledeffects no more available???!?!?!?!
    want to see how they made theyr helmets!! please reupload the PDF file D:

  • I appreciate you sharing this article post.Really looking forward to read more. Much obliged.