Cassius’ Philippe Zdar has died; Hot Chip, Franz Ferdinand & more pay tribute
Philippe Zdar, one half of French house duo Cassius and producer for Phoenix’s Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, Cat Power’s Sun, The Rapture’s In the Grace of Your Love, Kanye West’s “Why I Love You,” the upcoming Hot Chip album and more, has sadly passed away. His agent confirmed the news to Pitchfork, saying that Zdar accidentally fell from “a high floor of an old building in Paris.” He was thought to be 52.
Zdar formed Cassius with Hubert Blanc-Francard in 1989 and helped pioneer the French touch scene. He also formed Motorbass with Etienne De Crécy in 1996.
Cassius’ new album Dreems was expected to come out this Friday (6/21) and Zdar was expected to perform in NYC at SummerStage at Central Park this Sunday (6/23).
Many of Zdar’s peers and collaborators have since paid tribute to him. “Philippe Zdar was a great inspiration, both as a producer, but particularly as a good man and friend,” wrote Franz Ferdinand frontman Alex Kapranos. “His taste was impeccable and is heard on everything he worked on. He had a huge joy for life, generosity and passion. I will miss him terribly.”
Hot Chip wrote, “Hearing of the death of Philippe Zdar has left us stunned and immensely sad.
He was a kind, open and endlessly enthusiastic man who brought happiness to everyone around him. We are deeply sorry for his family and friends.”
Calvin Harris posted a stream of the Cassius song “1999” and wrote, “Awful news about Phillipe Zdar, what an unbelievably lovely man with an incredible legacy. I was mesmerized by this record as a 15 year old.”
Cut Copy wrote, “So sad to hear of the passing of the legendary #philippezdar of @CASSIUSOFFICIAL. A true original and a unique talent who was involved in making our first album, as well as so many amazing records. Your energy and generosity will be sorely missed. RIP brozeur xxx.”
Mark Ronson wrote, “So fucking sad to learn about Philippe Zdar last night. A true, true legend whose influence hangs over not just dance but indie, hip hop, all of it. I remember buying Feeling For You when it first came out and being blown away… My condolences to his family and friends.”
Former Vampire Weekend member Rostam Batmanglij wrote “philippe zdar was such a huge inspiration. i remember spending weeks mastering ‘unbelievers’ — putting it up against phoenix’s ‘1901’ as the benchmark of an incredible mix, —nothing could touch it. we had to mix it over and over again just to get close.”
Rest in peace, Philippe. You’ll be missed and your influence will live on.
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Farewell, my friend. pic.twitter.com/U6aZB5iHce
— Αλεξ Καπράνος (@alkapranos) June 20, 2019