“After Daft” Daft Punk and the past 30 years of Dance Music culture

After Daft will be a definitive publication on pioneering French music duo Daft Punk and the first book so far to cover their entire career, from formation in 1993 to split in 2021. It will be the most thorough attempt yet to document Daft Punk’s unique position within the cultural landscape, including interviews with a broad swathe of contributors who worked closely with Daft Punk for years, as well as others in the wider industry who were affected & inspired by the duo and their enduring impact.

After Daft will take a particularly in-depth look at Daft Punk’s seminal Alive 2006-07 tour: a concert production which changed the look and feel of live music forever, inspiring a new generation of DJ-producers, as well as having a profound effect on the popularity and profitability of electronic music in America and worldwide.

Much more than a book which focuses on Daft Punk alone, After Daft will also document the impact of those who inspired the duo — their ‘Teachers’, as mentioned on 1997 debut Homework — and their varying fortunes as Electronic Dance Music became a major cultural movement of the early 21st century. These include the veteran house & techno DJs and artists of Chicago and Detroit, as well as other key players in arts & music around the world. Details about contributors and their involvement will be revealed closer to publication date.

Of the book, author Gabriel Szatan says:

“Daft Punk sit in the pantheon of pop alongside Prince, Talking Heads, Kate Bush, Stevie Wonder, Kraftwerk, Missy Elliott, David Bowie or any visionary you’d care to name. Beyond making joyous records, there are countless compelling sub-narratives which flow in and out of their career: Alive 2006-07 was as consequential for dance music as The Beatles’ 1964 appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show was for rock ’n’ roll — what changed about the way we respond to concerts in the aftermath? Were the Teachers sufficiently recognised for their contributions? And how did Daft Punk retain anonymity at a time when the internet erased privacy for everyone else? I’m excited to bring it all to light — as well as making the case for how, over 28 years, music really did sound better with them.”

Daft Punk were one of the most influential music acts of all time. Forming in 1993, they left an indelible mark on the electronic underground as they rose to a level of success and visibility unforeseen for a dance music group. By their split earlier this year, they had won six GRAMMY Awards, and were ranked the 12th greatest music duo of all time by Rolling Stone Magazine.

Their studio albums and singles have sold upwards of twenty million copies, going multi-platinum in most countries across the world, and the pair are widely regarded as responsible for helping extend the popularity of dance styles like house, techno and electro. The duo have produced for chart-topping artists including Kanye West, The Weeknd, Pharell Williams and Arcade Fire. Daft Punk’s highly acclaimed live show, which is discussed in depth within After Daft, reimagined what was possible for a live music show, giving rise to the multi-billion dollar EDM industry and normalising the position of rave DJs at the top of festival bills worldwide.

Much more than a traditional music biography, After Daft will highlight the genre- and industry-defining aspects of Daft Punk’s career. The book will position the duo as generational icons, set against the historical backdrop of shifting cultural horizons in the duo’s home country of France, the United States and the rest of the world, alongside the rise of social media and the internet. The meticulous in-depth research, coupled with exclusive access to the book’s participants, results in a world-first publication on how the live and recorded music industry, wider entertainment worlds, and even transatlantic politics, were impacted by Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo; better known as Daft Punk.

Following a multi-publisher bid, UK and Commonwealth rights to the book have been won by John Murray Press/Hachette UK. After Daft will be released in 2023.

After Daft is written by Gabriel Szatan, a writer, editor, broadcaster, event programmer, streaming curator, label A&R and DJ, acclaimed for his extensive reporting on contemporary music and 21st century cultural movements.

Beginning his career as a promoter and radio host in London, he worked as part of Gilles Peterson’s team at BBC Radio 6 Music and was made Senior Curator at music events and editorial platform Boiler Room. During a five-year tenure, he curated hundreds of shows and projects worldwide, working simultaneously to showcase emerging talent and superstar DJs in-the-making, as well as celebrating rave culture and dance music history, with a particular focus on the American Midwest.

As a journalist, Gabriel has sat on the editorial teams for Red Bull Music Academy and Resident Advisor, and his specialist knowledge has appeared in The Guardian, Pitchfork, The Economist, DJ Mag, Dazed, Crack, The Face and more. He was co-awarded Music Journalism of the Year in 2020 by Complex for a long-form investigation on the ongoing subjugation of UK Garage.