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Stardust – Music Sounds Better With You (12” Club Mix) (1998)

EDMclassics | 10 April, 2021

Music Sounds Better with You” is the only song by French house trio Stardust, released on 20 July 1998. Stardust comprised Thomas Bangalter from Daft Punk, DJ Alan Braxe, and vocalist Benjamin Diamond; they disbanded after the release and resumed separate careers.

The single is a dance track built from a guitar riff sampled from the 1981 Chaka Khan song “Fate” using a looped sample from the 1981 Chaka Khan song “Fate”, sampled using an E-mu SP-1200.. It was initially released on Bangalter’s label Roulé, followed by a wider release on Virgin Records, accompanied by a music video directed by Michel Gondry. It was one of the year’s bestselling singles in the United Kingdom, where it debuted at number two in August 1998 and maintained the position for two weeks. It also spent two weeks atop the US Billboard Dance Club Songs chart.

The trio worked on the track at Bangalter’s home studio, Daft House. They added a bassline using a Korg Trident synthesiser, drums with a Roland TR-909 drum machine, and Rhodes piano. The group assembled the instrumental using an Ensoniq ASR-10 sampling keyboard, triggering different sections by assigning them to different keys. Diamond’s vocals and the final track were compressed with an Alesis 3630. The lyrics were written by all three members; the song initially had more lines, which were deleted. Diamond felt the sparse lyrics were “like a mantra … something everyone could understand”. Braxe recalled the trio listening to the finished song: “We were very happy because we felt like we achieved something original and quite new in its form.”

According to Billboard, Virgin offered Bangalter $3 million to produce a Stardust album. The group recorded more demos, but decided to keep the Stardust project to a single song. Braxe said there were no plans to release the demos, saying: “I think it gives the record a certain magic and mystery.” Apart from their performance at Rex Club, Stardust performed only once, in a 30-minute set at the Borealis festival in Montpellier, France.

Written by EDMclassics


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