Pioneering electronic duo Daft Punk have decided to call it a day. The French group’s publicist has confirmed that they have decided to retire. To announce their retirement, the group released a video titled “Epilogue,” which is an excerpt from their 2006 film Electroma. Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo started Daft Punk in 1993, and went to great lengths to keep their personal lives out of the way. They adopted ornate helmets and gloves to assume robot personas, later creating a rabid following and influencing the worlds of electronic and dance music.
In the “Epilogue” video, the Daft Punk members are out in the desert, wearing their iconic helmets, when one of them removes their jacket to reveal an energy pack. The first robot presses a button on the pack and walks away as the other one explodes. The camera cuts to a sunset, while Daft Punk’s “Touch” is played in the background. No reasoning behind their retirement was revealed, and it has not been confirmed if Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo will continue to make music together under a different name in the future.
Daft Punk was formed in 1993 and released their debut album, Homework, in 1997. The album contains elements of house music with funk, techno, disco, rock, and synthpop, which immediately struck a chord with listeners. The album spawned two number one Dance singles, “Da Funk” and “Around the World.” They went on to release the singles “One More Time” and “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger,” which solidified them as global superstars, who tried to keep their identities separate from the music.
The Tron: Legacy soundtrack album was another massive success for Daft Punk. It marked the first time that the French duo had ever scored a movie and it brought them a whole new fan base, thanks to the otherworldly soundscapes they created. At the time, Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo said, “We knew from the start that there was no way we were going to do this film score with two synthesizers and a drum machine,” so they ended up working with an orchestra and took cues from Wendy Carlos’ highly influential original Tron score. Scores are usually written and added after the movie is shot and edited, but Tron: Legacy was actually cut to Daft Punk’s musical cues and sequences.
Daft Punk’s Tron: Legacy score brought them a new audience, but their 2013 album Random Access Memories took them to even greater commercial heights. The album pays tribute to the music of the late 1970s and 1980s, while featuring collaborations with Giorgio Moroder, Panda Bear, Julian Casablancas, Todd Edwards, DJ Falcon, Chilly Gonzales, Nile Rodgers, Paul Williams, Nathan East, and Pharrell Williams. The single “Get Lucky” is still played multiple times a day on the radio and the album swept the 2014 Grammys. It’s unclear where Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo will go next, but the fans will be waiting. You can check out the “Epilogue” video in full above, thanks to the official Daft Punk YouTube channel.