I just read the news and felt I had to break my silence on this blog for this – but I hope you’re not reading it here for the first time. Depeche Mode‘s Andrew Fletcher, or “Fletch” as everyone seems to have known him, died today, much too young. Here’s some coverage thanks to The Guardian and the BBC.

Obviously, this is a sad loss for all fans of electronic music, who were already reeling after the loss of Vangelis just a few days ago. As was often the case, Fletch hides in the background of this video, but the song seems appropriate. Goodnight Lovers.


Florian Schneider

With the profusion of recent untimely deaths in the music world, I feel bad for picking that of Florian Schneider out in particular, but then, it is Florian Schneider. Many better writers than me have written tributes to the founding member of Kraftwerk who passed away yesterday, so I’ll leave it to the wonderful music that he left for us. Here’s what is, for me, the definitive version of Computer Love: in German, and from The Mix:

Robert Miles

I’ve just got back from my holidays, so I’m sorry that I’m a little late commenting on this. While I was away, I was very sorry to read about the untimely passing of Robert Miles, as it turns out from cancer.

It shouldn’t really surprise anyone that his mega-hit Children and the album that spawned it, Dreamland (which we reviewed here just a few months ago and found to be surprisingly good) have both jumped back onto the charts. His later albums were good too, and we listened to Paths on one of the first the random jukeboxes a while back too.

But my favourite track of his was from his second album 23am, and was this beautiful piece, Maresias. Rest in peace.

Frankie Knuckles

“Legend” is not a term that I use lightly, but it seems entirely apt for Frankie Knuckles. I’m sure that like me you were extremely sorry to hear that he had passed away yesterday. The BBC’s article is here, and there isn’t a lot more to say, apart from that 59 is no age to go.

Here’s my favourite moment from the house legend, from Introspective, Pet Shop BoysI Want a Dog:


Ray Dolby

It seemed to go largely unreported at the time, but last month saw the sad death of Ray Dolby, the audio pioneer who invented Dolby Noise Reduction (which over a quarter of a century would evolve into Dolby A, B, FM, C, SR, S, and HX Pro) for cassettes and film. His company, Dolby Laboratories, would go on to develop various surround sound systems; the AAC audio format used by iTunes; and various other ridiculously clever acoustic techniques.

In memory of the man who will go down in history as having reduced hiss, there’s really only one thing I can share with you – from his album The Dolby Decades, this is John Shuttleworth with the brilliant I Can’t Go Back to Savoury Now:

Now, if Dolby ever get round to developing a VST plug-in of their original noise reduction technologies, we’ll all be happy.