Depending on what you think about Dolby Atmos spatial audio in the music domain, the news that Daft Punk's Random Access Memories album has been remixed in the buzzword technology will undoubtedly be exciting or, at the very least, intriguing.
Indeed, Daft Punk has announced a 10th-anniversary edition of its five-time Grammy-winning album that includes a brand-new spatial Atmos mix in addition to 35 minutes of unreleased music across nine tracks. This extra material includes demos, rare tracks and studio outtakes of the songs that saw the electronic duo win the Grammy album of the year in 2014. You can see the full track list here (opens in new tab).
The anniversary album will be available from 12th May in triple-LP, double-CD, download and streaming formats, the last of which will host the spatial audio version on, presumably, the three services that support Dolby Atmos – Tidal, Amazon Music and Apple Music.
This marks the first time the iconic album will be released in a spatial format, and is bound to be one of the biggest releases for the technology yet. We, for one, hope that it emerges as one of the 'good ones', having recently expressed our doubts over the inconsistent quality of releases so far. For when it's done well, it can really add a positive sense of power and atmosphere to a song's soundscape – something we imagine could work particularly well for Random Access Memories, given its spacey synth-laden electronica. The potential is certainly there.
While Dolby Atmos surround sound for film and TV soundtrack applications has been heralded as a success, its reception in the music domain has been more marmite. Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich, for example, recently called Dolby Atmos music "fundamentally not right". That said, it is being widely championed out there – evident not only in the increasing number of spatial mixes being released on services but also in the push tech giants like Apple are giving it.
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