Daft Punk, the Parisian DJ duo capable of creating infectious grooves that rattle your bones and soothe your soul, are breaking up. The band announced their parting of ways on Monday by releasing a video titled “Epilogue” (an excerpt from their wordless 2006 film Electroma). Their saying farewell to the music scene was later confirmed by the group’s longtime publicist Kathryn Frazier. No reason was given as to why they’re calling it quits after 28 years of making music.
Featuring the talents of Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, Daft Punk was formed in Paris in 1993. With the launch of their debut album, 1997’s Homework, the band quickly became synonymous with the French house music style. Featuring classic singles “Around the World” and “Da Funk,” the band quickly established themselves as commanders of the dance floor. In addition to delivering non-stop bangers, Daft Punk came packaged with an air of mystique, thanks to the band hiding their identities behind elaborate robot helmets. Their legendary look gave listeners the impression that the band had come from a distant future, where robots ruled the world and operated to a cadence capable of uniting humankind and machines alike.
Known throughout the musical community as mysterious maestros of sight and sound, Daft Punk released their second album, Discovery, in 2001. It was on this album where the band delivered such hits as “One More Time” and “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger,” two songs that would cement their place in pop culture. As time went on, their library of dance floor anthems grew exponentially with the release of albums like Human After All, a live LP titled Alive 2007, and the TRON: LEGACY soundtrack.
Back in 2006, I was fortunate enough to catch Daft Punk’s legendary performance at Coachella 2006, alongside bands like Tool, Depeche Mode, Massive Attack, and Yeah Yeah Yeahs. The band performed their entire set while DJing inside a giant U.F.O., making for an unforgettable performance that was just as uplifting as it was transcendental. I count myself very lucky to have seen them in their prime.