New Zealand’s DJ Soane Passes Away

DJ Soane passes away

Mainstay New Zealand DJ Soane Filitonga has died after tragically suffering a heart attack. One of New Zealand’s most popular DJs, Soane, who was born in the village of Vava’u, located in the northern islands of Tonga in the South Pacific, began mixing records while working briefly as a doorman at The Box/Cause Celebre in Auckland’s High Street. Years of hard work helped Soane become one of the country’s most popular and highest paid DJs.

He later gravitated toward house music and began producing music, releasing his TonganChic album in 2004 featuring the singles “Where Do We Go?” and “All I Need.” named after his former 95bFM radio show.

One of his other achievements includes his role in Troffman, a trio rounded out by Ben Davis, Dick Johnson, who recorded for singles for UK-based Shaboom Records between 2000-2003. Soane also recorded for Manchester label Paper Recordings and helmed a DJ mix for the imprint. Soane also remixed local tracks by DLT, Che-Fu, King Kapisi, Annie Crummer and more recently Fat Freddy’s Drop.

Here’s a mix of the master in action. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.

Paul Bäumer of Dutch Electro Group is Dead


Paul Bäumer of Dutch Electro duo Bingo Players has died. The news was announced today on the group’s Facebook page. In July, Bäumer was diagnosed with cancer. Bäumer’s musical partner, Maarten Hoogstraten, has put all commitments on hiatus.

RIP Cheb I Sabbah, Bay Area DJ/Producer Who Fused World Music with Dance Beats


DJ/producer Cheb I Sabbah, who blazed trails in world music scene and was a mainstay on the Bay Area music scene, has died at the age of 66. Cheb I Sabbah was born Haim Serge El Baz in Algeria in 1947. He moved to Paris in the ’60s, where he began his career as a DJ. In 1984, he relocated to San Francisco, changed his name to Cheb I Sabbah ( “young of the morning”) and went on to make an international name for himself producing world music fused with dance beats.

Combining musical elements from all over the world, he released seven albums on Six Degress Records and appeared on that label’s two Asian Travels global compilations series. Sabbah was diagnosed with Stage IV stomach cancer in 2011 but continued working on music.

Fellow world music artist Kash Kale eulogized Sabbah on Twitter: “The world of music owes you so much… And I miss u brother.”

His family posted the following message on the artist’s website:

Dear friends, family, fans and fellow beat followers;

It is with a heavy heart that we, Cheb i Sabbah’s family, announce his peaceful passing yesterday morning in his home in San Francisco.

He was surrounded by his life partner of over 18 years and is memorialized by his two children and three grand children.

We ask that we be allowed the time to grieve and mourn our loss and will be announcing any memorial services in the near future…..

When dusk falls this evening, and the stars begin to swirl, our father is spinning for all the great ones who passed before him and were awaiting his arrival –


Here’s the man behind the decks at Komasket Music Festival. Joined by percussion players and a dancer, it looked like quite the party.

DJs and Musicians Remember Lou Reed on Twitter


Eulogies for Lou Reed have been coming at a steady pace since news broke yesterday that the New York rock legend had passed away at the age of 71. A cavalcade of fans, peers and disciples have taken to Twitter to express their condolences for the loss of one of the greatest and most influential rock musicians of our time. While death these days often brings on a deluge of remembrances (often, sadly, from those who simply want to interject themselves into a trending story), we culled some of the more insightful tweets from DJs and musicians, honoring Reed’s rock ‘n’ roll legacy.






















Rock Legend Lou Reed Dies at 71, Gave Electronic Music ‘Metal Machine Music’


Legendary rock musician Lou Reed has died, according to Rolling Stone. He was 71 and had received a liver transplant in May. The cantankerous, groundbreaking New York legend gave the world over 50 years of music during a career that included his membership in the Velvet Underground, various work with Andy Warhol, collaborations with John Cale and a solo career that spawned too many classics to mention.

For electronic music fans, Reed’s most famous foray into the genre was 1975’s controversial Metal Machine Music, an avant-garde album he produced that helped usher in the noise and industrial music movements. I saw Reed perform the album live with Sarth Calhoun and Ulrich Krieger at the Gramercy Theatre in New York in 2010. It was a magical experience watching Reed begin the show by apologizing for the din he was about to make before launching into MMM‘s difficult to listen songs and what seemed like improv jams.

Rest in peace, Lou.

RIP Disco Legend Vincent Montana, Jr.


Vince Montana, Jr., best known for his work as a composer, arranger, producer, vibraphonist and percussionist for MFSB and the founder of the 35-member Salsoul Orchestra (“Love is The Message”), has died. Known for his classic string arrangements and percussion passages during the disco era that drew influence from a variety of musical styles, Montana also worked with famed house music duo Masters at Work and the Pet Shop Boys on “New York City Boy.” During his lengthy career Montana racked up over 25 gold and platinum album awards. An amazingly talented bandleader, musician and visionary, Montana started his career as a jazz musician in the ’50s before connecting with Gamble & Huff in the ’70s and helping to define the Philly sound that became a global phenomenon.

Montana’s body of work remains timeless. We will never see another like him ever again.

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