“Release the Beast” – Breakwater
Breakwater was a funk and soul American band from Philadelphia, formed in 1971. The band consisted of Gene Robinson, James Gee Jones, Linc ‘Love’ Gilmore, Steve Green, Vince Garnell, Greg Scott, John ‘Dutch’ Braddock, and Kae Williams, Jr.
The synth line and power chords are what clearly stand out in the song. The incorporation of rock and electronic music was somewhat prophetic for its time. Daft Punk incorporated other elements of the “Release the Beast,” (Splashdown, 1980) into the production of “Robot Rock,” (Human After All, 2005), including percussion and power chords on an electric guitar. A talk boxvocal phrase featuring the title of Daft Punk’s single was also added to the recording. The Breakwater sample is credited on the single’s sleeve and on the liner notes of the parent Human After All album.
Today, many mainstream EDM producers are trying to emulate the sounds of Daft Punk, whether it be the talk box sound, a riffing 80s synth lead, or the use of formant filters on just about everything. Even the tempo (around 112 bpm) is in the prime danceability range and has been emerging with new artists experimenting with moombah music, cumbia, and even pop.
So when your friend plays you a new dance track that sounds like it could be the next big thing from Daft Punk, remember it’s getting its grit and funk from the 70s.