In a video entitled "Epilogue," Daft Punk, the iconic electronic duo whose music has made them one of the most influential groups in pop and dance circles over the past three decades, has broken up. The Parisian duo — Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo — broke the news with the 8-minute video, which used footage from their 2006 film Electroma, in which their familiar robot characters walk through the desert. Eventually, one of the two looks at the other and removes his jacket to reveal a pack on his back. When the other touches a button on the pack, the other swiftly walks away before exploding.
Their longtime publicist Kathryn Frazier confirmed the breakup to Variety on Monday. Frazier declined to share if the pair plans to work together under a different moniker or have another project in the works. Bangalter and Manuel de Homem-Christo first formed Daft Punk in Paris in 1993 and would release their debut album, Homework, in 1997. Featuring singles "Around the World" and "Da Funk," the album would be praised as a turning point for dance music. In 2001, Daft Punk released the follow-up album Discovery and made the robot outfits they began wearing during performances iconic. Singles like "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" then made the pair a household name, and the two would continue to release albums Human After All, live LP Alive 2007, and the Tron: Legacy soundtrack.
Daft Punk's 2013 album Random Access Memories featured the lead single "Get Lucky," which launched them into the music world's stratosphere, winning two Grammys not only for Bangalter and Manuel de Homem-Christo but also for Nile Rodgers and Pharrell Williams. Random Access Memories also led to a Coachella headlining set and three more Grammys, including Album of the Year.
Daft Punk is also credited on the acclaimed Kanye West album Yeezus, including the opening tracks "On Sight," "Black Skinhead," and "I Am a God." They also collaborated for The Weeknd's 2016 single "Starboy" and "I Feel It Coming," both of which helped make the Super Bowl halftime show performer a household name. Despite their prolific and iconic careers, Bangalter told Pitchfork in a 2013 story that keeping a low profile outside of their music was the only way they wanted to move forward in their careers. "When you know how a magic trick is done, it's so depressing," he said. "We focus on the illusion because giving away how it’s done instantly shuts down the sense of excitement and innocence."