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After months of speculation, the new Daft Punk album is finally on the horizon.
It looks certain to be released via Columbia Records (rather than former longterm home Virgin) and, although no street date has been confirmed, Nile Rodgers dropped a massive hint earlier this month.
Writing on his blog, the legendary disco artist and current Daft Punk collaborator said: "The next time I set foot in Japan, my collaboration with Daft Punk would have started to hit people's eardrums."
Rodgers has a residency at The Blue Note in Tokyo between April 24-May 2, so if he's to believed, new Daft Punk music will have dropped by then.
Mid April seems like a reasonable time for release and many news reports are indeed stating that a new Daft Punk record will drop in the spring. A source close to Mixmag has even said that material from the French duo could arrive as soon as March, which makes things very exciting.
Serious rumours about Daft Punk's fourth studio LP began to gather pace early in 2012, when esteemed American songwriter Paul Williams said it would be ready by June of that year.
Of course, that turned out to be a slightly wayward prediction, but details of a new record has emerged bit by bit, and oh-so-slowly, ever since. Here's what we know so far.
Daft Punk had visited Rodgers' New York apartment for an informal jam session, but both parties got on so well that they instigated an official collaboration. It's not yet clear how many tracks they've made together, but Rodgers will definitely feature.
During an exclusive interview (see below), he then told Mixmag: “Spiritually and artistically working with them was as good as anything I’ve ever done. It’s as great as being in a studio with Bowie, it’s great as being with Bernard Edwards, and it’s as great as the best stuff I’ve ever done with Duran or Madonna."
Then, at the International Music Summit in Ibiza, Giorgio Moroder revealed that he too had been in the studio with Daft Punk, adding the tantalising prospect of another dance music legend being involved with the new LP. That news dropped in May 2012 and it slowly dawned on us that the French duo were casually strolling into whatever studio they fancied to make what may be their magnum opus.
The aforementioned Paul Williams also let on that he'd written tracks for Daft Punk at last year's South By South West festival.
Chilly Gonzales, the charismatic musician who has collaborated with Feist and Peaches, among others, is also reported to be involved, as is Panda Bear of cult American indie outfit Animal Collective.
Daft Punk last played in the UK in 2007 and Bestival boss Rob Da Bank reckons that the pair won't tour this year. However, we're still hopeful of an appearance somewhere on the globe to support a new record.
The duo have been kind of quiet since their last album dropped in 2005. They scored the soundtrack of the Tron remake and put out a live record. They also got a little involved in a fashion show.
Expectation for a new album is absolutely palpable with fans buzzing with excitement at every new revelation. While they've kept details scarce, there is now enough evidence to suggest Daft Punk will be back in 2013. They've surrounded themselves with a glorious group of collaborators and, if Nile Rodgers is right, we'll be hearing material as soon as April. Here's hoping.