Recommended listening: Crescendolls, from the album Discovery, by Daft Punk.
When I hear this song, for whatever reason, I have a vivid memory in the front of my mind, every single time. This must’ve been, what, over ten years ago now – I was a teenager, with my family, staying at a relative’s bach by the beach. I was listening to this song, lying on the couch, and reading one of the Ender’s Game sequels – one of the dodgy ones, Xenocide or Children of the Mind maybe? I don’t remember details – what part I was reading, how I felt about it, any of that. It just jumps into my head, vivid as anything, whenever I hear this song.
And, to a certain extent, it happens with a lot of the rest of the album, too. High Life, Veridis Quo, Digital Love – they all remind me of this exact moment. I really do wonder why that is! I’ve listened to a lot of music, and read a LOT of books over the years – but none of them have stuck with me like that moment. Strange things, brains, aren’t they? They make these connections between things and ideas, shadow and substance – forging a link between a singular moment and a sensation that seems to last for ages. I know for a fact, whenever I see that one motel where I sessioned with my first Domme, I’ll remember the feeling of getting spanked, tied up, throat pounded. But even that’s just, like, remembering. Crescendolls… idk. It just feels different. It’s not, like, “oh, yeah, I remember reading Children of the Mind”, it just feels more… forceful.
Anyway, moving on. Discovery is one of those rare albums for me which is, start to end, a 10/10. I could listen to the whole thing and not feel like skipping a single track. What really interests me about Discovery, though, is that made a movie to go along with the album – an animated feature called Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem.
There’s no dialogue in the movie, at all. It tells the story of this alien band (pictured above) who gets kidnapped, have their memories removed, and are totally reskinned to look like humans. The guy who captured them (who has the absolutely killer name “Earl de Darkwood”) acts as their manager and sets them up as a new band on Earth – “The Crescendolls”. What’s fun, though, is that each scene is backed by a song from the album – remember, no dialogue! But it works, somehow. It acts as both a pretty thing to look at while listening to a great album, and also as a surprisingly fun story in its own right.
This manager sets The Crescendolls up to take the world by storm, and they’re overtaken by the fame before too long. Eventually the mind control is removed somehow, and Darkwood’s plan is revealed – he’s been kidnapping musicians from worlds all across the star system, in order to win these Gold Records. And once he gets 5,555 – he can rule the universe. As coincidence would have it, he’s at 5,554 now – he just needs this one from The Crescendolls to achieve his goal. Of course, they stop him, and escape, becoming heroes in their own right when they make it back to their home planet. It’s, y’know, not the greatest story in the world, but it’s fun, and it’s pretty, and it sounds really, really good.
I’d recommend watching it if you haven’t! It’s pretty short, a little over an hour (there’s not THAT much album!) and it’s an excellent way to experience an excellent album. Thanks for reading.