Daft Punk, one of the most influential and popular groups to emerge in the past 30 years, have announced their retirement via a video titled “Epilogue” posted Monday morning. The duo’s longtime publicist, Kathryn Frazier, officially confirmed the split and declined to provide further details.
The eight-minute clip begins with a scene from the duo’s 2006 film “Electroma” that features the pair, Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo — who for many years have concealed their features behind a robot concept — walking around the desert, wearing in their familiar space helmets and leather jackets. After a few moments, one of the members looks at the other, removes his jacket and reveals an energy pack on the back. The other touches a button on the pack. The first member walks away quickly, and then explodes.
The scene cuts to a sunset, or possibly a sunrise, as a choral version of the group’s song “Touch” plays.
The song is from the duo’s 2013 “Random Access Memories” album, which in many ways was a culmination of their career. The album, which included the global hit single “Get Lucky,” won the Grammy Award for Best Album the following year. The duo has largely kept a low profile since then, with their most prominent work being a collaboration with the Weeknd on two songs from his 2016 album “Starboy,” the title track and “I Feel It Coming.”
While their rep declined to say whether the duo will continue working together under different names or whether other new projects are in the works, it seems likely, considering the group’s famously contrarian and convention-mocking history, that they will continue to release music, videos and whatever other projects strike their fancy. It is even possible that this announcement could be the beginning of a new project.
Apart from the two songs with the Weeknd, the duo’s musical efforts in the years since have been low-profile. But given their past history, it’s extremely unlikely that we’ve heard the last from Bangalter and de Homem-Christo, whether or not they’re working together, or as Daft Punk.