As with all the great bands that made the history of music, playing the notes of some moments of our life, their break-up has certainly not gone unnoticed, despite the one-way road of the news in recent months. We would have wished for something different, maybe the release of a new album, an unexpected change of look, their landing on Mars, together with the probes that are reaching the red planet in these days… But no, it’s an epilogue, at least on an official level.
Formed in Paris, in 1993, by Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, Daft Punk rally helped to define the French touch style of house music. Their debut album, 1997’s Homework, was a dance music landmark, featuring classic singles Around the World and Da Funk. By the release of its follow-up, Discovery, in 2001, the duo had taken to making public appearances in the robot outfits that became their trademark. The singles One More Time and Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger cemented them as global superstars. Their imprint in the popular imagination continued to deepen in subsequent years, with records including third album Human After All, live LP Alive 2007, and the Tron: Legacy soundtrack album.
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. The album 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 duo announced their retirement through an 8-minute video titled Epilogue, excerpted from their 2006 film Electroma. Asked if Daft Punk were no more, their longtime publicist Kathryn Frazier confirmed the news to Pitchfork but gave no reason for the breakup. Many people, artists and creatives, wanted to pay a tribute to one of the most inspiring and long lived bands of all time.