For 28 years, Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo have been running around wearing robot helmets, calling themselves Daft Punk, and delivering groundbreaking electronic music with influences from funk to house and disco. Today, they’ve announced their break-up, which has been confirmed by publicist Kathryn Frazier for Variety. The announcement came as a video titled “Epilogue” that was posted on their website.
The video—which takes footage from their 2006 film Electroma—depicts the two robots walking in a vast desert until one slows down, then stops. His comrade turns back and joins him. The two robots face each other for an intense moment. (Are they making eye contact? Can they make eye contact?) The defeated one takes off his jacket and turns around showing an emergency switch. His comrade hesitantly flips it before his pal walks away and detonates. The lone robot walks into the horizon. Parts of the original film’s ending have been edited out, which includes the lone robot gathering his friend’s remains in a pile and then setting self-immolating.
Epilogue features the latter part of the duo’s eight-minute song “Touch,” featuring Paul Williams, from the Grammy-winning Random Access Memories. A children’s choir sings, “Hold on / If love is the answer, you’re home.”
In Daft Punk fashion, it’s all very cryptic and far from straightforward. There are already theories and bizarre takes that there is more to this story. Moreover, it’s evidence that even in their demise the duo are still great at keeping that mystic spark alive. Hopefully this is not the last we’ve heard from Bangalter and Homem-Christo; they’ve done so much for this cruel world. In the meantime, I’ll be turning to their decades of hits, pretending I’m surrounded by hundreds of thousands of sweaty bodies listening to Alive 2007.
Mourn and watch the video below.
RIP to daft punk. You taught me it was okay to be two French robots.
— Patrick Gill (@Pizza_Suplex) February 22, 2021
HOW ARE YOU GONNA GIVE US BACK BOBBY BUT TAKE AWAY DAFT PUNK I NEED TIME TO PROCESS pic.twitter.com/Fn3yQrYOUR
— kennybeats (@kennybeats) February 22, 2021