Daft Punk — the masked electronic music pair of Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo that formed in the 1990s and which has put out some amazing music in the last couple of decades — is no more.
The influential duo whose albums included Discovery,Human After All and Random Access Memories released a cryptic but dramatic video on Monday entitled “Epilogue,” and it features footage of one of its members blowing up (!).
What did it mean? Per Variety, “The duo’s longtime publicist officially confirmed the split to Variety and declined to provide further details.”
Twenty years into their career, Daft Punk blew up once more with “Get Lucky,” the lead single of their 2013 album Random Access Memories. The ubiquitous track sold millions of copies around the world and won two Grammys for the duo and guests Nile Rodgers and Pharrell Williams, both of whom also featured on follow-up single “Lose Yourself to Dance.” Random Access Memories earned Daft Punk a further three Grammys, including Album of the Year, and the ceremony hosted one of the last stagings of their spectacular live show. “When you know how a magic trick is done, it’s so depressing,” Bangalter told Pitchfork in a 2013 Cover Story. “We focus on the illusion because giving away how it’s done instantly shuts down the sense of excitement and innocence.”
The year of Random Access Memories’ release, Daft Punk were also credited with co-production on several tracks from Kanye West’s Yeezus, including the formidable opening trio of “On Sight,” “Black Skinhead,” and “I Am a God.” They would go on to collaborate with the Weeknd on the 2016 single “Starboy”—Daft Punk’s first Billboard singles chart topper—as well as a second hit, “I Feel It Coming.”
Beyond the singles, their visual identity, interstellar mystique, and party-music ethos inspired generations of artists across genres. LCD Soundsystem’s breakout song, “Daft Punk Is Playing at My House,” captured the duo’s paradoxical embodiment of hipster cool even as their singles dominated airwaves. They released several batches of incredible holiday merch. They were sampled by R&B greats Janet Jackson and Jazmine Sullivan, parodied in Family Guy and Powerpuff Girls, and celebrated in art galleries around the world