Electronic music figurehead Andrew Weatherall dies at 56
British electronic pioneer Andrew Weatherall suffered a pulmonary embolism that took his life during the early hours of February 17, according to a statement on the artist’s social media pages. He was 56 years-old.
“We are deeply sorry to announce that Andrew Weatherall, the noted DJ and musician passed away in the early hours of this morning, Monday 17th February 2020, at Whipps Cross Hospital, London. The cause of death was a pulmonary embolism. He was being treated in hospital but unfortunately the blood clot reached his heart. His death was swift and peaceful,” reads the statement.
Weatherall was a leader in Britain’s acid house revolution and a mulit-talented artist, cutting his teeth as a music journalist in the post-punk world before finding his way into dance music. As the countercultural “rave” phenomenon assumed an iron grasp over the UK, Andrew and his fellow Boy’s Own crew mates would carve out a counterculture of their own within the scene at larger, championing darker, edgier sounds through DJ sets and curation whilst providing colorful and on-the-nose commentary via the crew’s self-titled magazine. It was clear from the start that the burgeoning talent would be hailed as a visionary in years to come.
Through the 90s, Weatherall’s musical genius came into the spotlight as he entered the studio with many leading engineers of the age and helped craft some of the era’s most iconic remixes—including a take on Paul Oakenfold’s “Hallelujah,” the much-used Beatless Mix of “Smokebelch 2,” and of course, “Loaded” —his beloved flip of Primal Scream’s “I”m Losing More Than I’ll Ever Have” that kicked off a close relationship with the band. His fame was secured in 1991 after having produced Primal Scream’s Screamadelica.
Despite his success, however, Weatherall remained grounded and true to the punk roots that bred him. He notably refused to play into the “superstar DJ” trope and set himself of a different trajectory than his peers at the time by taking experimental turns into dance music’s underbelly and bringing new sounds to the forefront often before the masses were ready for them. Weatherall’s deep passion for music’s history led to varied sets that would introduce audiences to top grade musical acts like Nancy Sinatra, Brien Wilson, and more. His show on NTS, Music Is Not For Everyone, continued this tradition.
Since news of his passing arose, the electronic music world has been honoring his presence with an outpouring of anecdotes and condolences. Daniel Avery, Sasha, New Order, and many others have taken to social media to pay their respects.
We are all very saddened to hear about the passing of our friend, and collaborator, Andrew Weatherall. pic.twitter.com/vZ3ckl7lw0— New Order (@neworder) February 17, 2020
1) Tears, so very sad to hear Andrew Weatherall passed away. He first booked me in the early 90’s for a Magnetic North night he was so gracious to host.— Dave Clarke (@DJDaveClarke) February 17, 2020
Photo credit: Charlie Forgham Bailey