PARIS, France, February 23 ------ One of the era’s defining dance floor acts hung up their helmets on Monday, as electronic music stars Daft Punk announced their retirement in typically enigmatic fashion with a video showing one of them exploding in a desert. The French duo released an eight-minute clip titled “Epilogue”, using footage from their cult 2006 film “Electroma” in which one of the robots sets other to self-destruct mode. After the explosion, a cutaway reads “1993-2021” with two robot hands making a circle around a sunset.
Their publicist, Kathryn Frazier, confirmed the news to AFP by email, without giving a reason for the split. From “Da Funk” in 1995 to “Get Lucky” in 2013, Daft Punk became the torch-bearers for French house music across the globe, winning six Grammy awards and pioneering the monumental sound-and-light shows that came to characterize the electronic dance movement (EDM) of recent years.
They did so while almost never revealing their faces — the ubiquitous helmets became another much-copied trope of EDM stars, but also afforded Thomas Bangalter, 46, and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, 47, freedom from the fame that quickly encircled them. “We have daily lives that are a lot more normal… than the lives of artists who have the same level of fame as us, but who might be attached to being physically recognized,” Bangalter said in a 2015 BBC documentary.