RIP Thomas Kurzhals – He Smuggled His Minimoog Into East Germany And Rocked Behind The Iron Curtain

Composer & keyboardist Thomas Kurzhals, who performed with the East German rock groups Karat & Stern-Combo Meißen, has died at the age of 60.

This video captures Kurzhais in April of 2009 at the Frankfurt Musikmesse, jamming and sharing his stories of rocking behind the Iron Curtain. Along the way, he shares that he had to smuggle his Minimoog into East Germany in pieces.

via MoogMusicInc, Chris Stack

Jazz Fusion Pioneer George Duke Dead At 67

george-dukeRadio Facts reports that jazz fusion pioneer George Duke has died, at age 67.

George Duke (January 12, 1946 – August 5, 2013) was an innovative keyboard player, composer, arranger, producer and a favorite of keyboardists for decades. He recorded 30+ solo albums and is well-known for his work with Jean-Luc Ponty, Frank Zappa, Billy Cobham, Micheal Jackson, Miles Davis and many others.

Duke was active to the end, with his most recent release, Dreamweaver, dedicated to the memory of his wife Corine.

Here are some videos that showcase Duke’s approach to electronic keyboards: Continue reading

Pete Namlook Has Died

Producer, composer, synthesist and label head Pete Namlook (born Peter Kuhlmann in 1960) died November 8th, 2012, of as-yet unknown causes.

Kuhlmann’s daughter Fabia released a brief statement earlier today:

“It is with much grief that we announce the passing of Peter Kuhlmann, AKA Pete Namlook.

We are still shocked and are working on an official announcement that will follow soon to bring clarity to our minds. As word spreads on the internet more and more we just want to make clear that he died peacefully from as yet unspecified causes on 8th November 2012.

We will announce more details as and when they surface.”

Namlook was extremely prolific, releasing dozens of solo albums and releases with collaborators Klaus Schulze, Gaudi, Bill Laswell, Richie Hawtin, Tesu Inoue and others. Namlook also founded the German record label FAX +49-69/450464.

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Beastie Boys’ Adam Yauch Dead At 47

Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys, dead at 47, RIP

The Beastie Boy’s Adam Yauch, known to many as MCA, is dead at age 47.

A Beastie Boys representative has confirmed that Yauch (August 5, 1964 – May 4, 2012) “passed away in his native New York City this morning, after a near-three-year battle with cancer.”

The Beastie Boys started in 1979 as a punk band, but transitioned to hip hop in the early 80’s and achieved mainstream success with their album Licensed To Ill.

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Barbara Buchholz Thereminist, RIP

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Reader Philip Miller Tate, aka MirlitronOne, sent word that Germina thereminist Barbara Buchholz has died:

I have just received the sad news that Barbara Buchholz, virtuoso thereminist, died earlier today. She was 52.

I had the pleasure of meeting her at the 2007 ‘Hands Off’ meeting. She was very friendly, helpful and encouraging and a fine multi-instrumentalist. I had long hoped to meet her again or to be able to take advantage of her teaching sessions that she ran regularly in Berlin, Sardinia and Mallorca.

My sympathy to her friends and family. RIP Barbara – I enjoyed the few hours I spent in your company.

Buchholz was not just a virtuoso player, but she also helped to bring the theremin to new audiences, appearing on the German version of ‘Got Talent’ and teaching seminars around the world on the instrument.

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DJ AM Found Dead, Drug Overdose Suspected

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Adam Goldstein, aka DJ AM, was found dead today at his apartment at age 36. A drug overdose is suspected, because drug paraphernalia was found at the scene.

Goldstein is probably best known to many because of his relationship with Nicole Richie, but his scratching can be heard on tracks by Madonna, Will Smith and others.

The video, above, catches DJ AM performing with Travis Barker. Just a year ago, Goldstein and Barker were the only survivors of a plane crash which killed four other passengers.

His last statement, via Twitter, was this:

“New York, New York. Big city of dreams, but everything in New York ain’t always what it seems.”

Michael Jackson, 8-Bit Style

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The world of music lost one of its most iconic stars today, Michael Jackson.

It’s a cliche, but Jackson lives on in his music, not just in its original form but in thousands of permutations.

The world of 8-bit Michael Jackson covers, is a little strange, or maybe a lot strange, depending on your perspective. But, even in video game style arrangements, Jackson’s best songs are still insanely catchy.

Here are just a few examples……. Continue reading

The Orb’s Andy Hughes Dead At 43

Andy Hughes, an electronic music producer and DJ best know for his work with The Orb, passed away Friday, June 12th after a short illness:

During the last few days of his life, he was cared for by the staff of the Liver Intensive Care Unit at Kings College Hospital in London and whilst visiting Andy we discovered the excellent, caring and truly ‘intensive’ work that these wonderful people do every day.

Andy’s parents have requested that if you would like to make a donation to charity in memory of Andy, his life and his work, then please use this page to donate to the Kings College Hospital Charity.

Any Hughes is known for his work with The Orb, where he helped mix and produce Orbus Terrarum, Orblivion and Cydonia, as well as The Orb’s singles from this period.

Hughes was born November 11th, 1965 and grew up in Harrow, Middlesex. Continue reading