Thomas Bangalter creates the score for Daaaaaalí!

By Beverley Knight

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French artist Thomas Bangalter adds another string to his bow. With movie scores close to his heart, a project with his friend Quentin Dupieux (Mr Oizo) was a natural move. Quentin directed the film Daaaaaalí! – released in cinemas across Europe on 7 February 2024. However, the pair working together is not virgin territory. There was a cameo for Thomas in Quentin’s 2015 work, Reality, starring Canned Heat hero Jon Header.

Musically, Dupieux typically produces the soundtracks of his films, so it would need someone he trusted and respected to take the lead. So his good pal Bangalter stepped up. But where might you know that name, Bangalter? From half of French Touch history makers Daft Punk. Remember in 2021 when the duo rocked the musical stratosphere by announcing their end? But it all made sense. The world was changing, especially with technology advancing at such a pace.

The last thing Thomas wanted to identify with was the steely metal of a robot. Without a shadow of a doubt, they were cultural icons, treasured robots with souls, but it was time. Finally, the mask came off, bringing Thomas newfound freedom to create whatever he wanted. For his first solo project in 20 years, Bangalter went big and joined electronic wizards like Wendy Carlos and Jeff Mills by composing classical music.

Choreographer Angelin Preljocaj requested Thomas to create the score for his 2023 ballet Mythologies, and Bangalter obliged. Directed by Romain Dumas and played by the Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine, modern meets myth in twenty-three movements. There’s repetitious, Glass-like moments in the highly melodic music that ring true from someone with a wealth of EDM knowledge like Bangalter.

Daaaaaalí! offered Bangalter escapism to another realm again. With only his imagination and an ancient zither, Thomas retreated to his Parisian studio to create his very own Hungarian Dances or Spanish Dances, we should say. It’s a circular score that’s playful and mischievous, a folky affair, where many melodies complement each other, and a section with deep bass and distortion is distinctly Thomas.

When devouring the film, you’ll see a nervous journalist interviewing the great artist Salvador Dalí on the Costa Brava and a backdrop of surrealist imagery. It’s in good company with Dupieux’s growing list of original and absurd art – just how we like it. Get your hands on a limited edition 10”, complete with a poster from Ed Banger Records. Label boss Pedro Winter says the record celebrates the golden age of music and cinema, with the director and composers all sharing a love for classic and timeless film scores.

What’s next for Thomas Bangalter? Watch this space. Where will he take us? That’s the surprise.

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Cover image DAAAAAALÍ! Original Soundtrack on YouTube