Acclaimed British experimental composer Philip Jeck dies aged 69 | Music
Philip Jeck, the experimental British composer who deployed sampling and DJing for highly imaginative purposes, has died aged 69 after a short illness.
The founders of Touch, the label that released his music, announced the news, writing that Jeck was “a remarkable man and a wonderful artist” and that “he has been one of the backbones of our work for 30 years. But with Philip, it wasn’t just work, it was love, spirit and dedication. He touched so many people with his spirit, his joie de vivre and his wisdom.
Jeck garnered acclaim in the global underground music scene for a career that included 12 albums and a number of other works, using ramshackle vinyl records and players salvaged from junk shops, in tandem with electronic instruments and effects, to create haunting ambient music of great poignancy. .
After studying at Dartington College of Arts and an inspiring trip to New York where he was fascinated by mixing records of dance music DJs such as Walter Gibbons and Larry Levan, Jeck began a long collaboration with dancer and choreographer Laurie Booth, providing music for his performances.
A resounding success came with the 1993 art installation Vinyl Requiem which used 180 turntables alongside film projections, in collaboration with Lol Sargent – it won a Time Out award that year.
Jeck began his recording career with the Loopholes album in 1995 and alongside his solo work has collaborated with musicians such as Gavin Bryars, Jaki Liebezeit and Jah Wobble. His work has been hailed by theorist Mark Fisher as part of the “hantological” movement of artists who drew inspiration from recorded musical history as part of their practice.
Jeck also performed live in semi-improvised performances that drew on his extensive collection of discarded vinyl records, which later formed the basis of his album recordings. “I have so many records that, in a way, I’m pretty much inspired by all of music history, which is very overwhelming,” he once said.