By Sarah Grunau
February 22, 2021, marked the end of a progressive era for dance music. Pop electro duo, Daft Punk, released the news of their split with an 8-minute video posted to YouTube. The video features the two robot members of the band walking in the desert with one eventually self-destructing, while the other continues his walk alone, signifying the breakup of one of the greatest electronic dance groups.
The famous duo was formed in Paris in 1993 by Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo. It wasn’t until 1997 that Daft Punk released their first studio album, Homework, under their former label Virgin Records. Homework caught the attention of many and blew up in popularity within the French house scene.
Their next album, Discovery, was released in 2001. Discovery contains a few of the duo’s most popular songs. Amongst these include: “One More Time,” “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” and “Something About Us.”
By the end of their second album release, Daft Punk was selling out shows and going on their first world tour. The duo went on to release two more albums between 2003 and 2005: Daft Club and Human After All. Like their previous albums, these newer releases further increased the popularity of Daft Punk.
Random Access Memories is the last album released by the group in 2013 prior to their dismissal. Random Access Memories climbed the charts soon after its release, charting at #1 on both US Billboard 200 and Billboard US Top Dance/Electronic Albums.
In 2017, Daft Punk joined The Weeknd on stage at the 2017 Grammy Awards show to perform their hit song “I Feel it Coming.” Unbeknownst to everyone, this would be the duo’s final live performance. The group’s impact changed the scope of dance and electronic music.
Although Daft Punk made significant strides for electronic music, the influence that Daft Punk has had on the pop industry is supreme. Due to the rise in popularity of the band, collaborations with mainstream pop artists became frequent. Popular collabs include Pharrell Williams, The Weeknd, Kanye West and Julian Casablancas.
Working closely with notable pop and hip hop artists, the duo had a way of injecting funk into each collaborated song. Even without vocals, Daft Punk had a signifying sound that was easily recognizable in every music endeavor they participated in.
Daft Punk will be remembered for their immense talent, groundbreaking influence and stellar bass lines. As this iconic chapter of music comes to a close, we can consider the flawless and innovative sound the group introduced to modern music.