See Video for Daft Punk Rarity That Julian Casablancas Hoped Stevie Wonder Would Sing
Ever see a pregnant robot? The video for “Infinity Repeating (2013 Demo) shows mankind’s Darwinian evolution from an amoeba to a primate to a man to a robot to an enceinte automaton (that looks a lot like a female version of Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo’s stage costumes). The track is an outtake from Daft Punk’s blockbuster Random Access Memories album that paired them with Julian Casablancas. Three animation houses — London’s Picnic Studios and Paris’ H5 Studio and Light Studios — collaborated on the clip, which filmmaker and Daft Punk bud Warren Fu directed.
The now defunct and de-funked duo recorded the song in L.A. and New York with Casablancas during the sessions for what would become its final album, Random Access Memories, which just came out as a 10th-anniversary deluxe edition. The reissue contains 35 minutes of previously unreleased music.
Even though Daft Punk considered “Infinity Repeating” a highlight, they opted instead to release “Instant Crush” on the album — a wise choice since it became a hit as a single in Europe and has been certified platinum in the U.S. But “Infinity Repeating” maintained a special place in their Pentium hearts.
“[The track was] a little stranger and more jazz modern, chord-wise, than the others on the record,” Casablancas said in an unsurprisingly elliptical, jagged statement. “It just cycles up like a pattern. It’s a four half-step cycle moving up on repeat. I wanted Stevie Wonder to sing it. [It] somehow has island summer vibes too… It’s lovely and bizarre. Like a human. And like a human, obsessed with infinity and constantly making the same mistakes and movements.”
The video made its debut Thursday night at Paris’ Centre Pompidou, a modern and contemporary art museum. Director Fu believes the studios worked well together by seeing what each other was working on in creating the clip’s perpetually walking figure. The video also holds sentimental value to him. “This project is especially dear to me not only because I was the mutual friend that introduced Julian to Guy Man and Thomas, but it is also the final music video for Daft Punk,” he said. “Like a lot of the robots’ music, I wanted to create something simple and hypnotic on the surface, that reveals more upon repeat listens and viewings.”
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In addition to “Infinity Repeating,” the duo released “Daft Punk: Memories Unlocked” via Snapchat’s AR studio, offering augmented reality experiences in the lead-up to the reissue. For users who scan the original artwork or any of Snapchat’s billboards with the app’s camera, the track “Horizon” is embedded in an augmented reality lens. The company also teased the premiere of the “Infinity Repeating” video with a global 10-city treasure hunt revealing clips from the video through geo-located augmented reality screens.
The rest of Random Access Memories 10th Anniversary bonus tracks include outtakes, early versions, demos, and vocoder tests of songs that both made and didn’t make the final track list. It includes “Touch (2021 Epilogue),” which previously was Daft Punk’s final video.