Legendary French duo Daft Punk has announced their split after nearly three decades of making ground-breaking music together, it has been confirmed by their longtime publicist Kathryn Frazier.
Widely known as one of the most influential groups to pioneer the French House genre, iconic electronic music duo Daft Punk are going their separate ways. In typical futuristic fashion, the trailblazing act announced their retirement via an eight-minute video titled “Epilogue” – an excerpt from their 2006 Sci-Fi film Electroma. According to Pitchfork, their publicist Kathryn Frazier later confirmed the news, without stating a reason for the split.
The clip features Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo wearing their iconic space helmets and leather jackets while walking through a desert landscape. Eventually, they face each other and one of the robots takes off their jacket, throws it to the ground and turns their back to the other to reveal two buttons on their back. After a moment of silent contemplation, the second robot pushes one of the buttons to activate a countdown timer. Robot one walks away, and when the timer counts down to zero, explodes. The dates ‘1993-2021’ appear on screen.
After this dramatic ending, in what could either be a sunrise or sunset, we see the single remaining robot walk off into the golden glow to the cerebral notes of an orchestral version of Daft Punk’s song ‘Touch’. The last scene seems final, but undoubtedly will leave die-hard Daft Punk fans speculation whether they are leaving a door open for solo projects or a possible reboot later down the line. For now, however, their longtime publicist Kathryn Frazier has confirmed the curtain has fallen.
Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Baltanger met as teenagers in school in Paris in the mid-eighties and formed a rock band called Darlin’ together with their friend Laurent Brancowitz. In 1992, the trio released a song on a compilation on Stereolab’s Duophonic label, which was slated in the Melody Maker as “a daft punky thrash”. The scathing review came to serve as the inspiration behind the name of one of electronic music’s most influential and iconic acts.
Brancowitz eventually left and formed Indie Pop band Phoenix, while Bangalter and de Homem-Christo decided to focus on electronic music and pushed ahead with Daft Punk. Releasing their debut album ‘Homework’ on Virgin Records in 1997, which included hit singles ‘Around the World’ and ‘Da Funk’, their new sound won them global recognition.
With the release of their second album ‘Discovery’ in 2001 came classic hit singles ‘One More Time’, ‘Digital Love’ and ‘Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger’. During this time, the duo also began making public appearances in their signature robot outfits and never performed without them thereafter.
Over the course of the following years, several further hit albums including ‘Alive 2007’ and ‘Random Access Memories’, spectacular live performances from within an illuminated pyramid, and collaborations with musical greats across a range of genres such as Nile Rodgers, Pharrell Williams and Michael Jackson collaborator Paul Williams, and a Grammy Award for Best Album in 2014 have cemented their status as true electronic music rock stars.
While it may look like the glorious Daft Punk era has come to an end, for now, and with their publicist refusing to comment on any future projects – individual or otherwise – we have come to learn that you should always expect the unexpected where Bangalter and de Homem-Christo are concerned.