By: NOLAN PAGE
On Monday, February 22, Daft Punk announced that they have broken up. This news was given in the form of a dramatic eight minute video titled “Epilogue,” which is taken from a scene from the duo’s 2006 experimental film “Electroma.” The pair are walking through a desert together when Thomas Bangalter’s persona of the figure in the silver helmet has the figure in the gold helmet, portrayed by Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo press a self destruct button on his back and 60 seconds later the silver helmeted figure explodes.
Having been a popular band for 28 years before the breakup, the news prompted a saddened reaction from fans and many musicians shared their sadness and admiration for the duo as well their experiences and memories of the iconic band. Kevin Parker of Tame Impala said of the breakup,”It was almost like when you hear about someone that’s died.¨ I know it’s obviously not nearly as tragic as when someone dies, but that kind of shock,” and Porter Robinson tweeted “thinking about how every stage of my life would have gone so differently if it weren’t for Daft Punk.” Many others reacted to this news with a sense of humor such as Patrick Gill who tweeted, “RIP to daft punk. You taught me it was okay to be two French robots.”
Over the 28 year span of their music making career together, Daft Punk had a drastic effect on the electronic and pop music overall. Their debut album, “Homework” in 1997 gave the world hits such as “Around the World” and “Da Funk.” In 2001 they released “Discovery” most notably featuring the song “Harder, Better Faster Stronger.” 2013 saw the release of what would, unbeknownst to anyone at the time, end up being their last album “Random Access Memories.” With this album they released their largest song of their career, “Get Lucky” which was a collaboration with both Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers and made it to the Number 2 Spot on the Billboard Hot 100. For the album and the specific track, they won four Grammys in 2013, including album and record of the year.
Aside from their own music, Daft Punk also made some other noteworthy contributions in the form of their aforementioned 2006 movie “Electroma,” and collaborations. These collaborations include their writing of the score of the 2010 movie “Tron: Legacy” and their 2016 collaboration with The Weeknd on two of the songs on his album Starboy. Their impact on pop can be seen in how their music has been sampled by artists such as Busta Rhymes, Janet Jackson and even Kanye West. Since their founding in 1993, the effects of Daft Punk on the music industry has been recognized with a total of 6 Grammys, 12 Grammy nominations, an award from the Austin Film Critics Association, 2 Billboard Awards and 6 International Dance Music Awards.