Daft Punk, one of the most influential and popular music groups to emerge in the past 30 years, have announced their retirement via a video titled Epilogue posted online.
The duo’s longtime publicist officially confirmed the split to Variety and declined to provide further details.
The eight-minute clip features the duo – Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo – who for many years have concealed their features behind a robot concept, walking around the desert and wearing 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 sunrise or possibly a sunset 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 representative 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.
Bangalter and de Homem-Christo met in the mid-1980s at school in Paris as teenagers and soon after began working together on music.
They formed a rock band called Darlin’, inspired by the Beach Boys song of the same name, with their friend Laurent Brancowitz in 1992 and released a song on a compilation on Stereolab’s Duophonic label.
The song received a negative review in the Melody Maker – which described it as “a daft punky thrash” – and, in a move that would set the tone for the rest of their career, turned the negative review into their new band name.
The two decided to focus on electronic music; Brancowitz left and ultimately formed Phoenix.