The electronic music community pays tribute to Andrew Weatherall

The tragic loss of the DJ, producer and pioneer has triggered an outpouring of grief on social media...

18.02.20

Words by: Felicity Martin

One of the UK’s most respected electronic artists, Andrew Weatherall passed away yesterday aged 56 after suffering a pulmonary embolism.

Born in 1963, the DJ/producer/remixer rose to fame during the acid house era of the late ’80s, most notably working on Primal Scream’s ‘Screamadelica’, turning it into an era-defining album, while also remixing tracks by artists from Björk to Manic Street Preachers.

An anti-establishment icon, Weatherall was uncompromising in his outlook, as well as being an engaging raconteur, a revered selector and mind-bending producer.

His death has prompted an outpouring of tributes from the dance music community, paying their respects to an artist who was overwhelmingly loved by many.

Read a selection of the messages from people whose lives he touched below.

 

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#andrewweatherall

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There were two sides to Andrew Weatherall. Over in one murky corner was the Lord Sabre of ill-repute, whose music often expressed a darkness that must have been otherwise well hidden. The other side was the quietly reflective, frequently hilarious, deadpan polymath whose character seemed deeply at odds with his piratic look. I guess he was a bit of both. Although our paths often came close in the 1990s, it was only over the past 20 years that I really got to know Andrew. I interviewed him a couple of times, but we also DJed together at a bunch of parties and hung out at festivals, usually with his girlfriend Lizzie. In person he couldn’t have been further from his slightly foreboding reputation. He was an extremely likeable person, always with an interesting angle on a well-worn story, he was someone you’d be guaranteed to end of talking about something typically off the wall; I’m remembering conversations over the years that covered New Orleans voodoo, David Essex in That’ll Be The Day, Billy Childish or any one of countless diversions that always seemed to be part of a few hours spent with Mr Weatherall. He was also kind and thoughtful man. One summer, we spent a week together in a villa in Croatia, and he helped teach my then very young daughter how to swim (in between speculation about whether Dr John had filched lyrics from a book he’d just read). I’d doubt whether anyone from the acid house generation has forged such a singular career as Andrew. Many have gone on to become much more successful and considerably more wealthy than him, but none of them have managed to plough a furrow so unique and utterly without ‘career planning’ in mind. Careers were for other people, but not him (during one of our interviews, he told me, “It was only about five or six years ago I realised I was a DJ.”) Full tribute in link in my bio ——> #andrewweatherall #lordsabre

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Fail we may, sail we must 🖤 ⠀ “This young lad picked me up for the gig and he was 21 and was a trawlerman. He wanted to know about the glamourous world of DJing, to which I said, It’s bollocks, it’s disco’s, tell me about tales of the sea. He told me about being 18 in a force nine gale, his father, the captain, broke his leg so he had to captain the ship. I was thinking, I couldn’t even look after myself at that age let alone a trawler boat in a force 9 gale. I asked him, Are there times when you get up in the morning and you can’t be arsed? And he said, fail we may, sail we must. Which led to me spending hundreds of pounds and a lot of pain having it tattooed up the sides of my arms. I’ve got a pretty good work ethic and sometimes you have a heavy night and want to phone in poorly but if this guy can captain a ship in a force 9 gale I’m sure I can get up and spend two hours in a disco.” ⠀ @dummymag, 2010.

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(Read the full interview from which the above quote is taken).

Listen to Andrew Weatherall’s Dummy Mix.