It’s hard to believe, but almost 20 years ago, Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter were two bright eyed wannabe electronic producers barely out of their teens when in 1994 they decided to send a demo DAT (digital audio tape – remember them?) to a Scottish dance music label named Soma.
Luckily someone at the label took an interest in them, because they went on to be one of the biggest selling dance artists in the world. What has only just been revealed, however, is that rather than their DAT being carted off to the tip with those of many thousands of other hopefuls who send in demos every day of the week to record labels, it was actually slated to be released on their Da Funk 12 inch on Soma, but it made way for ‘Rollin’ & Scratchin’ and someone actually shoved it in a box where it had laid forgotten until a bit of clearing up was done last year. As Soma Records explains:
At the tail end of 2010 we trailed boxes of DATs, pictures and god-only-knows what else to find artefacts of Soma’s early days. Imagine our surprise when we discovered a tape simply entitled ‘Daft Drive’. We hooked up the DAT machine and inserted the tape with the delicacy of a surgeon, pressing play and praying that for one, the tape contained what we hoped, and two, that it didn’t chew it like a dog chewing on a bone. In amongst the hiss and crackle, the most monstrous 909 kick drum thudded. Daft Punk’s ‘Drive’ track had been rediscovered. Playing through was Live Daft Punk; freaky vocals, pounding Roland drums & synths and that archetypal DP compression.
After standing in silence, witnessing this moment, the track faded off and we heard the sound of the French spoken word that the recording had been made over; the remnants of their parents audio collection. The tape had originally been sent with Rollin’ and Scratchin’ to be released as Soma25. But Soma asked these two bright-eyed and Techno-bound Frenchman, to finish and send Da Funk to accompany Rollin’ and Scratchin’ and DRIVE was shelved for a later date…
Many Daft Punk fans will be excited to learn that this little bit of previously unreleased history will be released as track one on the Soma 20 Years compilation triple CD release, and will be joined by selected Soma Records classics, including tracks by Slam, Silicone Soul, The Black Dog, Funk D’Void, Samuel L Session, Percy X and Desert Storm, along with a number of specially prepared DJ mixes.