January 26, 2013 7:38pm PT by Shirley Halperin, Jem Aswad, Billboard
Daft Punk Signs With Columbia Records
Sony Music is ramping up its dance music arsenal. Just three days after announcing a new strategic alliance with Ultra Records, a leading label of the EDM movement, news is emerging that Columbia Records has signed Daft Punk. A source confirms to The Hollywood Reporter, "It's a done deal."
The revered, reclusive and highly influential French DJ duo had released all of its recordings via EMI’s Virgin Records, now owned by Universal, with the exception of its most recent full-length, Disney’s Tron: Legacy, which Daft Punk’s Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter scored.
Prior to Tron, the last proper Daft Punk album was 2005’s Human After All. Signing the electronic music pioneers is a major score for the 125-year-old Columbia, which also recently added Depeche Mode to its roster.
Confirmed details about Daft Punk’s forthcoming fourth album are few and far between, though producer/Chic co-founder Nile Rodgers recently hinted that it would be out in the coming months. Singer/songwriter/ASCAP president Paul Williams, veteran bassist Nathan East, Feist collaborator Chilly Gonzales and legendary disco producer Giorgio Moroder (via a spoken monologue) are among others who reportedly have collaborated with the duo during the past couple of years, though whether and what form their contributions to the album might take is unclear.
In a report Saturday, French newspaper Le Parisien seemed to affirm that an album is expected soon, reporting that it will be released in the spring.
Worth noting: Although Daft Punk is not on the recently revealed Coachella lineup, an insider says the group was offered a "gigantic sum of money" to headline the California desert festival but ultimately turned it down.
A label rep would not return THR or Billboard’s request for comment.