How Daft Punk Created One of Their Most Famous Samples

Slate's Culture Blog
Jan. 3 2014 7:38 PM

How Daft Punk Created One of Their Most Famous Samples

How do Daft Punk do what they do?

Photo by Karl Walter/Getty Images

A lot of people who listen to hip-hop and electronic music might find the process of building beats a bit mystifying, especially since the genres’ instruments aren’t as readily identifiable as, say, the electric guitar. (The drum machine, the synthesizer, and the sampler aren’t as widely understood, leading some people to say they’re not “real instruments” at all.) This video, which just started going viral this week, should help demystify that process a bit.

In it, YouTube user SadowickProduction gives a step-by-step breakdown of how Daft Punk built the basic backing track for “One More Time,” using Eddie Johns’ “More Spell on You.” (The author of the video claims that Daft Punk has denied using the sample, but Vibe says it was officially cleared.)

A lot of people will see this video as proof of how building songs from samples takes a keen ear and a lot of skill: You’re not just “stealing” something, you're transforming it. Others will see it as proof of the opposite: Anyone can put a urinal on the wall and call it art. Of course, those people didn’t put a urinal on the wall, and they aren’t Daft Punk.

Forrest Wickman is a Slate staff writer. 


Medical Examiner

Here’s Where We Stand With Ebola

Even experienced international disaster responders are shocked at how bad it’s gotten.

It’s Legal for Obama to Bomb Syria Because He Says It Is

Divestment Is Fine but Mostly Symbolic. There’s a Better Way for Universities to Fight Climate Change.

I Stand With Emma Watson on Women’s Rights

Even though I know I’m going to get flak for it.

It Is Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice

Building a Better Workplace

In Defense of HR

Startups and small businesses shouldn’t skip over a human resources department.

Why Are Lighter-Skinned Latinos and Asians More Likely to Vote Republican?

How Ted Cruz and Scott Brown Misunderstand What It Means to Be an American Citizen

  News & Politics
Sept. 23 2014 12:43 PM Occupy Wall Street How can Hillary Clinton be both a limousine liberal and a Saul Alinsky radical?
Sept. 23 2014 1:04 PM Which States Should Secede From the Union?
The Eye
Sept. 23 2014 11:33 AM High-Concept Stuff Designed to Remind People That They Don’t Need Stuff  
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 23 2014 11:13 AM Why Is This Mother in Prison for Helping Her Daughter Get an Abortion?
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus
Sept. 22 2014 1:52 PM Tell Us What You Think About Slate Plus Help us improve our new membership program.
Brow Beat
Sept. 23 2014 11:48 AM Punky Brewster, the Feminist Punk Icon Who Wasn’t
Future Tense
Sept. 23 2014 10:51 AM Is Apple Picking a Fight With the U.S. Government? Not exactly.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 23 2014 11:00 AM Google Exec: Climate Change Deniers Are “Just Literally Lying”
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.