After 28 years, Daft Punk call it quits

Using a scene from the duo’s 2006 film Electroma, followed by an end card reading “1993-2021,” the iconic French musicians left their storied careers behind them.

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Andrew Shinkle

Discovery (left) and Random Access Memories (right) are among Daft Punk’s greatest releases.

  Daft Punk might be the most influential and popular electronic duo of all time. They’ve left a massive impact on the music industry, with legendary hits such as “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger,” “Get Lucky,” and “Around the World.” But on February 22nd, that world became a little bit darker, as the helmet-clad French group announced their breakup.

  In a nearly eight-minute video posted to their YouTube channel, titled “Epilogue,” the somber news was officially confirmed. Using a scene from the duo’s 2006 film Electroma, followed by an end card reading “1993-2021,” the iconic French musicians left their storied careers behind them.

  Formed in 1993 by Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, Daft Punk were trailblazers in the French house movement. Their use of sampling techniques were controversial to some, as many of their biggest hits take cuts from lesser-known songs and artists, but their level of musicianship shouldn’t be discredited. No matter the influences, succeeding in the music industry usually requires immense levels of hard work and skill.

  Daft Punk recorded four studio albums, as well as the score for the Disney film Tron: Legacy, across the span of 1997 to 2013.

  Their first two records, 1997’s Homework and 2001’s Discovery, were released to immense critical and commercial success, while 2005’s Human After All didn’t fare as well. After the release of Tron: Legacy in 2010, the duo returned for their final project, 2013’s Random Access Memories, a star-studded effort featuring collaborations from Nile Rodgers, Pharrell Williams, Julian Casablancas, and others. In a triumphant return to form, the project took home the 2013 Grammy award for Album of the Year.

  But after that, the only sound that was created by the legendary duo was silence.

  For the eight years following Random Access Memories, Daft Punk were almost never in the news; the only publicity they received was from media outlets pondering their whereabouts and pumping up unsubstantiated rumors about future projects. One such rumor came in the form of a potential Tron: Legacy sequel, where they would once again provide the score. However, the group’s breakup serves as the death knell for any future works.

  Although they will be sorely missed by music fans everywhere, the announcement makes sense for a few reasons. For starters, there’s the period of radio silence. With almost no mainstream activity for almost a decade, Bangalter and de Homem-Christo had to have been contemplating this move for some time.

  Also, there’s no better way for a music artist to go out than with a critically-acclaimed, award-winning album. While I wouldn’t put it past them, it would have been tough to top Random Access Memories. As a final song, “Contact” fits perfectly as a climactic conclusion to the band’s record-spinning days.

  Finally, the two Frenchmen are pushing fifty, with Bangalter at age forty-six years old and de Homem-Christo at forty-seven. They’ve been on the EDM scene since their early twenties, and have enjoyed lengthy and hugely-successful careers. Now, the time has come for them to hang up their helmets and focus on their families.

  While Daft Punk might not exist anymore, there’s not much time in life to lament over death. Instead, let’s celebrate the twenty-eight years of magical mixes that the duo gave the world.