Daft Punk Split Up After 28 Glorious Years

This morning, Daft Punk posted a video to social media titled Epilogue. The eight-minute clip, taken from their film, Electroma, culminates with the message “1993-2021” and fades out with the sunset. This video is an announcement of the end of Daft Punk. Pitchfork reported a confirmation of the breakup from the group’s publicist.

Before EDM was a household genre, Daft Punk was there innovating the sound of electronic music. Since 1993 the French duo have captured ears and hearts with catchy music, over-the-top performances, and a mysterious and eccentric off-stage persona. Twenty-eight years later, after building international success that reached well beyond electronic music fans, Daft Punk has decided to break up.

Daft Punk established their name in the French house scene in the early 90’s. The duo helped define the genre’s sound, featuring heavy influence from disco and funk. Throughout the early 90’s the sound bloomed across Europe, and eventually reached international acclaim in the latter end of the decade. Daft Punk and member Thomas Bangalter’s Roulé record label helped define the sound and bring it to commercial success internationally. The energy and timbre of their 1997 debut album Homework set the stage for for a career defined by unique sounds and powerful, yet simple hooks.

In 2001, Daft Punk’s released their breakout album, Discovery. Commercial success for tracks like “One More Time” and “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” pushed the album to triple platinum in their home country, double platinum in the UK, and gold in the United States, with millions of copies sold worldwide. While the critical and commercial success did not carry over to their third studio album, Human After All, which came out in 2005. Many feel that this is because it clung to it’s house roots, missing some of the slick pop styling from the previous release.

One element that kept Daft Punk at the forefront of the genre, despite years between albums, was their live performances. Perched atop a glowing pyramid of lights, the duo mixed and mashed-up their own songs to create innovative new sounds that appealed to longtime fans and newcomers. This can be heard in their two Alive albums.

The peak of the groups success came after an eight year break from new studio music. The highly collaborative and commercially successful Random Access Memories shifted the sound from repetitive house driven hooks to smooth funk-influenced pop. The album featured “Get Lucky”, a smash hit single co-written with Nile Rogers and Pharrell Williams. Random Access Memories went on to go platinum in the US, diamond in France, and has sold more than three-million copies worldwide.

Daft Punk were a major force in pushing electronic music to the mainstream. They innovated their own sound multiple times, and helped keep a genre built on repetition fresh over a nearly three-decade span. While no reason has been given as to why the group is splitting up, it is hard to get upset after such an iconic 28-year span of creating music.

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