Gabriel ‘Gabi’ Delgado-López, one half of pioneering German electronic duo D.A.F., has passed away at the age of 61.
Delgado-López, who formed the band Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft alongside Robert Görl in 1978, has enjoyed a prolific career in music as a composer, lyricist and producer since he formed the band.
While no official word has been released around the cause of Delgado-López’s death, his bandmate Robert Goerl confirmed the news in a post on social media: “Got word today my long time friend and bandmate Gabi Delgado passed away last night,” he said.
Delgado-López, who was born and raised in grew up in Córdoba before his family moved to Germany in 1966, formed D.A.F. at a time when the sub-genre of experimental electronic music was forming and the band played a pivotal role in its development alongside their compatriots Alan Vega and Martin Rev of New York group Suicide.
“The singing isn’t like rock ’n’ roll or pop singing,” Delgado-López once said of his band’s sound. “It’s sometimes like in a Hitler speech, not a Nazi thing, but it’s in the German character, that crack! crack! crack! way of speaking.”
In 1980, two years after forming the group, Delgado-López and Görl moved to London where they continued to create new, experimental music across four prolific years before their split. While the band released new material, Delgado-López passionately refused to sing their music in the English language: “It’s not only a part of the image,” he once explained. “It’s a serious matter because DAF from the very first beginning didn’t want to imitate any American pop, rock or whatever.
“In fact we think there is a very strong American influence in culture, television, music, everywhere. So in the very first beginning one of our main content was to refuse to imitate rock ‘n’ roll, to refuse to sing in English. We don’t do that. We have our own identity. Our identity is not American identity.”
D.A.F. would go on to release six highly influential full length studio albums in the four short years together. After their split, Delgado-López continued to release solo music and work an as underground DJ in Berlin and often found himself regularly performing amid the booming house party scene.
Continuing to record new music, Delgado-López put out three solo records of which he most recently released Zwei in 2015.