Shrouded in mystery fitting for France's most famous robots, a collection of tracks was quietly released on YouTube early last fall by a group called the Third Twin. With terribly bro-y, heavily Photoshop-filtered images of identical twins, the tracks were initially credited to none other than Daft Punk, but ownership was quickly swapped out after uploading. This switcheroo sparked rumors debating if the Third Twin really was Daft Punk, or a pair of impressive newcomers looking for some buzz.
The Third Twin's album Homemade--whose title called to mind Daft's debut album, Homework--was uncannily similar to Daft Punk's signature fusion of French house, synthpop, and techno that defined the Discovery era. The songs also sounded like preliminary versions, thus supporting the reigning theory that they were actually TRON: Legacy reject tracks that were never given final mixing. Speculation surrounding the Third Twin's true origin was mostly lost in the hurricane of press for Daft's long-awaited work on the Disney soundtrack released last December, but Homemade could now mark Daft Punk's true return to the limelight since 2007.
The prevailing rumor with all the trimmings was confirmed this week in a press release from the Arenal Sound music festival, which will take place near Valencia, Spain in August. Arenal has apparently booked the Third Twin's first and only performance so far:
"Madrid, January 10, 2011 - The Third Twin is a French electronic music duo which is getting very popular around the business in the recent months. The reason is simple: They are directly related to the famous Daft Punk... The stage name of The Third Twin emerged supposedly with the aim of publishing the issues proposed by Daft Punk to Disney´s movie "Tron": Legacy. The company initially considered the material too oriented to electronic sounds because of that they refused it. The company ordered a new batch of compositions more orchestral and traditional which finally took part of the soundtrack of the film which was recently released with great success. Daft Punk could not sign with their original name, music themes nor use any clear reference to the film for legal reasons. That is the reason why the well-known French electronic tandem had to use allegedly that pseudonym."
Too electronic for a film that takes place in a computer? Although it sounds blasphemous to reject anything touched by Daft Punk, Disney's instincts were right: Daft Punk landed their very first top 10 album with the TRON soundtrack, and has so far peaked at number 4. It's now the second highest-charting score soundtrack right behind Star Wars Episode 1-The Phantom Menace, which debuted and peaked at number 3 in May, 1999. Before that, their highest ranking was number 44 on the Billboard charts for 2001's Discovery. But any true Daft Punk fan probably found the soundtrack to be merely another film score, with the exception of the single "Derezzed."
The jury's still out whether the French duo will perform as Daft Punk or the Third Twin, knowing their publishing issues with Disney--or even at all, since they are known to sometimes send helmeted surrogates in their place (most notably, they had production assistants serve as body doubles for their film, Electroma). Either way, it might be high time to book your ticket to Spain for this rare performance and the return of another great robot era.
Listen to the whole album here.