News \ News \ Scene

Philippe Zdar has died, aged 50

The Cassius co-founder fell from a building in Paris

2019 Jun 20     
2 Bit Thugs

Stars from the electronic music world and beyond have been paying tribute on Twitter

Philippe Zdar, a member of 'French touch' acts Motorbass and Cassius and producer to artists including MC Solaar, Phoenix, Cut Copy and Kanye West, has died after an accidental fall from a 19-storey building in Paris. He was 50 years old.

Real name Philippe Cerboneschi, Zdar started out working as a producer with his friend Hubert Blanc-Francard, known professionally as Boom Bass, in 1988. Both lovers of hip-hop, the pair produced tracks for leading French rapper MC Solaar before Zdar teamed up with Etienne De Crecy in 1993 to from the duo Motorbass.

Motorbass would release one album (1996's Pansoul) and a handful of EPs before Zdar then joined forces with Boom Bass once more to form Cassius in 1996. Cassius went on to become a fixture on the French electronic music scene, scoring big hits with 1999 single Feeling For You and their debut album 1999 that same year, as well as their biggest international hit, 2002's The Sound Of Violence. The pair also recorded more hip-hop oriented material as La Funk Mob.

Further Cassius long-players followed in 2002 (Au Rêve), 2006 (15 Again) and 2016 (Ibifornia), by which time Zdar had also established a successful solo career as a producer and collaborator, becoming a key member of the Ed Banger Records family and working with the likes of Kanye West, Cat Power, Jay Z and Kanye West. Notably, in 2009 he produced French group Phoenix's Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix album, which won the 2010 Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album.

Tragically, his death comes just before the release of a fifth Cassius album, Dreems, which was due in shops tomorrow.

David Duriez, The Black Madonna, Pete Tong, Danny Howard, Honey Dijon, Danny Rampling, Jesse Rose, Plastician, Zane Lowe and Sharam Jey were among those paying tribute on Twitter this morning, with Tong describing Zdar as "a true visionary and genius in the studio and a very lovely man" and Rose calling him "one of the most supportive people in my career and just the kindest of kind people".

Our thoughts are with his family and friends.





Tags: Philippe Zdar, Philippe Cerboneschi, Cassius, Motorbass, La Funk Mob, Phoenix, Ed Banger Records