Daft Punk, the iconic French electronic music duo, have announced the decision to call it quits after 28 years together. The band, famed for some of the most iconic pop songs of all time, were formed in Paris in 1993 by Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter.
Announcing their shock decision to split, Daft Punk revealed the news as part of an eight-minute video titled ‘Epilogue’. With speculation about their future up in the air, longtime publicist Kathryn Frazier confirmed the news to Pitchfork. However, the reasoning for their decision to call an end to Daft Punk has not yet been revealed.
Thriving at the top of the music industry since their emergence in the early-1990s, Daft Punk built the foundations of their music as part of the bustling French house movement and didn’t look back. Together, the duo managed to successfully blend elements of funk, disco and techno with core trends within the rock and indie music sector.
As if their experimental musical output wasn’t enough, Daft Punk managed to build an aura of mysticism around their band, donning ornate helmets and gloves with stylish ease. Taking on the persona of robots in public since 1999, Daft Punk will be remembered as one of the all-time artistic greats for their music and live stage presence. In 2013, as part of an interview with Rolling Stone, the duo clarified that the reasoning of the masks was to explore the “line between fiction and reality” and create “fictional personas that exist in real life.”
Since their inception, the Daft Punk duo has worked feverishly in a bid to keep evolving. Passionately pushing the boundaries of genre, the band split time between touring and the studio with a work ethic like no other. While they worked relentlessly, Daft Punk focused heavily on the importance of quality and, during their time together, they only released four studio albums with Homework in 1997, Discovery in 2001, Human After All in 2005 and, most recently, Random Access Memories back in 2013.
Outside of the standard album format, Daft Punk released two live albums and one compilation album. Again, looking for an exploration of how to release their creativity in new mediums, the duo worked on the score for Joseph Kosinski film Tron: Legacy and, like most things they put out, it was met by critical acclaim and won ‘Best Original Score for a Fantasy/Science Fiction/Horror Film’ by the International Film Music Critics Association. With three remix records, two video albums and 22 singles, Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter can look back on a glittering music CV like no other.
“We don’t believe in the star system,” Bangalter once said as a reason why the duo avoided appearing in music videos. “We want the focus to be on the music. If we have to create an image, it must be an artificial image. That combination hides our physicality and also shows our view of the star system. It is not a compromise. We’re trying to separate the private side and the public side.”
In what is a clear indicator of the approach the band took, he added: “It’s just that we’re a little bit embarrassed by the whole thing. We don’t want to play this star system thing. We don’t want to get recognised in the streets. Yes. Everyone has accepted us using masks in photos so far, which makes us happy. Maybe sometimes people are a little bit disappointed but that’s the only way we want to do it. We think the music is the most personal thing we can give. The rest is just about people taking themselves seriously, which is all very boring sometimes.”
See the video for Epilogue, below.