Daft Punk, the pioneering electronic dance music duo, have broken up.
The band announced the news of their split in a video titled “Epilogue” on Monday, and the band’s publicist Kathryn Frazier confirmed the news to Pitchfork, though no reason was given for their split.
Daft Punk was a French duo made up of artists Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, and the band has been together since 1993, collaborating with dozens of musicians such as Kanye West, The Weeknd, Pharrell Williams and Giorgio Moroder, to name a few, as well as composed the musical score for Disney’s “Tron: Legacy.”
The band throughout their career concealed their identities behind shiny robot masks, whether on stage, in videos or on awards shows. And though they had been together for near three decades, the band was often reclusive, touring sporadically, rarely doing press and only putting out four commercial albums (and the soundtrack for “Tron: Legacy”) in their long career. The band’s affinity for 70s disco, house music, funk. album rock and electro synthpop and more proved to be influential for a generation of modern musicians.
Daft Punk’s debut album “Homework” released in 1997 and produced hits such “Da Funk” and “Around the World,” and they would record music videos with filmmakers such as Spike Jonze, Michel Gondry and Roman Coppola. Their follow-up album “Discovery” elevated them to global stardom and critical acclaim behind the singles “One More Time” and “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger.”
In 2013, Daft Punk’s song with Pharrell “Get Lucky” was the quintessential song of the summer and dominated the airwaves. The single from their album “Random Access Memories” reached the top 10 charts in 32 countries, and the band that year would win five Grammys, including Album of the Year and Record of the Year. And the band finally hit Number 1 on the Billboard charts in 2016 in a collaboration with The Weeknd on the song “Starboy,” which led many to speculate that the band might cameo on The Weeknd’s recent Super Bowl Halftime Show.
The announcement video, which is excerpted from their 2006 film “Electroma,” shows Bangalter and Homem-Christo wearing their masks in the middle of a vast, empty expanse. The two are silently walking away from one another but then one turns so that his partner can activate a self-destruct countdown on his back. The video then concludes with a logo for the band along with the subtitle “1993-2021.” Watch the video announcement above.