The news was announced (kinda) via a Facebook video earlier today
French dance music legends Daft Punk have split up after 28 years, it was announced today. No reason has been given for the break-up, which was revealed in characteristically cryptic form in a Facebook video posted today.
Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo met as teenagers at school in 1983, and formed their first group together – a guitar band called Darlin' – in 1992. The band had a couple of tracks out on a V/A EP released by Stereolab's label, but fame and fortune did not, at this point ensue. Fellow Darlin' member Laurent Brancowitz would later go on to achieve success with electro-rock outfit Phoenix.
Bangalter and Homem-Christo, meanwhile, turned their attention to electronic music. Taking a new name from a negative Darlin' review that describe their sound as “a daft, punky thrash,” they handed over their first demo to Soma label boss Stuart MacMillan (of Slam), who promptly released it.
The track in question was 1994's debut single The New Wave, but it was 1995's Da Funk that propelled them to international stardom, with the duo firmly establishing their place at the top of the electronic music tree with their debut album Homework in 1997. The duo would go on to release three more studio albums – 2001's Discovery, 2005's Human After All and 2012's Random Access Memories – with the latter spawning their biggest international hit, Get Lucky, a UK No 1 and the last of nine singles to reach the UK Top 40.
Other projects have included two live albums, music for film and video games (notably, the full score for 2010 sci-fi film Tron: Legacy), and two full-length films of their own: manga-style animation Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem, and Daft Punk's Electroma in 2006.
Along the way, the pair have also picked up several Grammy Awards and been made Chevaliers in France's Order of Merit, a prestigious national honour. But it's their extravagant live shows and their robot helmets that will be remembered most fondly by the public at large.
The last few years have been pretty quiet on the Daft Punk front. They featured on The Weeknd's album Starboy in 2016, and briefly ran a pop-up merchandise and clothing shop in Hollywood, but rumours last year that they were to soundtrack a film by Italian giallo horror director Dario Argento seem to have been premature.
The video posted on Facebook today, titled Epilogue, showed Bangalter and Homem-Christo bidding each other farewell in a desert, before one of them walks away and explodes. The clip itself was taken from Electroma, but a title card at the end read '1983-2001', prompting online speculation about a split that was later confirmed by Pitchfork after speaking to publicist Kathryn Frazier.