It is with a heavy heart that we pay tribute to the iconic DJ, producer, musician and mixer Andrew Weatherall, as he passes at age 56 from a pulmonary embolism.
His management released a statement: “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.”
As one of the UK’s most respected DJs and producers it has, undoubtedly, come as a shock to everyone to hear of his passing. With a rise to fame during the acid house era, working with the likes of New Order and Happy Mondays, Weatherall started his career singing in post-punk bands at his local arts centre. However, he found his feet as a DJ in the late 1980s. Becoming a key figure in the British music scene, he was recruited by Danny Rampling to play at London nightclub Shoom, after which he soon founded the record label Boy’s Own Recordings and the production outfit Bocca Juniors.
It was of course his work with Primal Scream on their breakthrough album Screamadelica, released in 1991, that propelled his career. He truly ripped apart the work to turn it into the masterpiece that we listen to today, adding samples, loops and a new energy that took the record to dizzy new heights. The track ‘Loaded’ is perhaps the perfect example of Weatherall’s genius, as his retained around seven seconds of Primal Scream’s original song – the bass line and guitar.
On the track, Weatherall added vocal samples from The Emotions, a drum loop from an Italian bootleg of Edie Brickell’s ‘What I Am’, alongside snippets from other Primal Scream songs, with frontman Bobby Gillespie singing a line from Terraplane Blues by Robert Johnson. The track propelled Primal Scream to a dance floor from a rock band, and left the group with an effervescent and malleable image that would last forvever.
This success established Weatherall as one of the UK’s most in-demand and leading producers and it goes without saying that he will be missed as a pioneering figure in music all over the world, with tributes pouring in.