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Daft Punk, ‘Alive 2007’ (Virgin)

When Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter dropped their substandard Human After All three years ago, Daft Punk seemed destined to join the ranks of ’90s electronic acts whose sales shrank with the dot-com bust. Then upstarts like Justice and indie-kid pied piper James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem made French electro-disco hip again, and Kanye West sampled one of DP’s most recognizable riffs on “Stronger.” Suddenly, the duo has become the new Kraftwerk — roots music for the latest generation of cyborgs.

Alive 2007 is the rare synth-based concert album to capture and transcend its creators’ studio bound essence. Daft Punk perform by DJ’ing their own anthems: Human After All‘s robo-rock repetitions now build suspense for the peak songs from Homework and Discovery, as on the intricately throbbing mash-up of “Around the World” and “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger.” And rather than replicate their records in concert, as many rock bands do, de Homem-Christo and Bangalter remix from the stage, maximizing the tracks’ impact. Every DJ with the right software attempts this, but few can both formulate hooks on the ecstatic level of “One More Time” and then tweak them into noisy oblivion, which here means dropping most of that track’s vocal and extending its Van Halen-esque guitar riff to the stars. Regenerating and destroying pop: That’s Daft Punk.

Now Watch This: Daft Punk – “Harder Better Faster Stronger”