They’re only human after all: Legendary music duo Daft Punk split after 28 years making music

Tuesday, February 23
Ciarán Mather

Daft Punk, the famously enigmatic dance-music duo that produced arguably some of the catchiest songs of the past three decades, have finally decided to call it quits.

Their publicist Kathryn Frazier confirmed the split to Pitchfork, but did not provide any further comment.

The two French DJs, whose real names are Thomas Bangalter and Guy Manuel de-Hommem Christo, announced that they were moving on from the popular project with a farewell clip posted on YouTube.

The video in question, titled Epilogue, was a snippet from their independent film Electroma, which featured the caption 1993-2021.

The group released their debut album, Homework, in 1997, which spawned two hits: Da Funk and Around the World.

However, the group reached international attention and acclaim for their 2001 effort, Discovery, which was accompanied by an anime film titled Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem. 

The album had a slew of popular dance hits, including One More Time, Something About Us, Face to Face, Television Rules the Nation/Crescendolls, Aerodynamic, and arguably the group's best-known single: Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger.

It was also this album that allowed the group to solidify their vintage sci-fi robot on-stage personas.

Following on from this smash-hit, the group released their third album Human After All, which despite not being as well-received as their previous album, nonetheless proved to be successful, especially due to the titular lead single and other songs such as The Prime Time of Your Life and Robot Rock. 

In 2007, the duo were approached to create the soundtrack for the film Tron Legacy, the long-awaited sequel to the 1982 Disney sci-fi action film, Tron.

While the film received mixed reviews when it was released 2010, virtually all critics agreed that the film's soundtrack was one of its stronger points, which included a mix of symphonic and electronically-powered songs.

The duo even cameoed in the film as two nightclub DJs, and wore neon-coloured versions of their costumes matching the film's aesthetic.

In 2013, Daft Punk mounted an official comeback with Random Access Memories, which arguably became the soundtrack of that year's summer months.

The album, which had a heavy 1970s disco influenced sound, was critically acclaimed and spawned five hit singles: Give Life Back to Music, Instant Crush, Doin' It Right, Get Lucky and Lose Yourself to Dance, the latter two of which featured singer Pharrell Williams and Niles Rodgers, guitarist of Chic.

Daft Punk were also noted collaborators with rapper Kanye West, who worked with them on the tracks Stronger in 2007 (which sampled Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger) and then again in 2013 for Black Skinhead, On Sight, Send It Up and I Am a God.

2016 saw them bookend The Weeknd's hit album that year with two songs: Starboy (which was also the name of the album) and I Feel It Coming.

The duo received nominations for 12 Grammy awards, winning six of them. 

Four of those wins came in 2013 for Random Access Memories and Get Lucky, including record and album of the year.

The pair's unique moniker came from the unlikeliest of places: having previously played together in the rock band Darlin, they were disparagingly described as a 'daft-punky thrash' in a Melody Maker review.

Unshaken by this criticism, the duo decided to adopt the term as the name of what would become their most successful project.

It is clear that the two lovable music-making robots will be dearly missed by their many fans, and no doubt, the many musicians that they have collaborated with and inspired.

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