Monday morning on Facebook, a strange message came down the feed from Daft Punk: a link to an eight-minute YouTube video entitled "Epilogue," an excerpt from the French duo's 2006 sci-fi film Electroma, per Pitchfork. The clip, which also popped up on the group's website, shows members Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, disguised in their trademark robot outfits, together in the desert—until one activates the self-destruct mode on the other's energy pack, causing the latter to walk away and explode 60 seconds later. Fans' worst fears of what the video means were confirmed by the group's longtime publicist to Variety: The electronic music pioneers have broken up, after 28 years together.
The pair, described by NME as "one of the most influential electronic acts of all time," landed on the map in 1997 with their debut album, Homework, which included the hits "Around the World" and "Da Funk." Bangalter and de Homem-Christo, who met in the mid-'80s at school in Paris, started donning the robot get-up around 2001, when their sophomore album, Discovery, came out. That album gave them the hits "One More Time" and "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger," and they had multiple albums after that, including the soundtrack to 2010's Tron: Legacy. But it was 2013's Random Access Memories that earned them a whole new generation of fans, partly thanks to the breakout single "Get Lucky," which featured Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers. That project also earned them a slew of Grammys, including for best album and best record. No further details have yet emerged as to why they've split. (Read more Daft Punk stories.)