Michel Baumann, the German DJ and producer who largely worked under the pseudonyms Jackmate and Soulphiction aliases, has died of cancer aged 52.
Baumann’s friend and collaborator, Nik Reiff, confirmed his sad death in a statement issued to Pitchfork. Reports of his death had begun to circle earlier this week, which have now been confirmed. The producer stated last month that he was currently in hospital undergoing chemotherapy.
Baumann’s first foray into music came when he first started using a synthesizer in 1985, which would kickstart his musical journey. The producer would later get his hands on a sampler in the late ’80s and drew influence from the house scene in Chicago, which he became obsessed with while working in a record store in Stuttgart.
In 2000, Baumann found Stuttgart’s dance label, Philpot, named in honour of iconic New York DJ Larry Levan’s real surname. This label would be Baumann’s musical home until his death. He and Blacktrane producer Tobias Ettle would earn Philpot a glowing reputation in the dance scene.
His Jackmate moniker also started to gain traction, but techno wasn’t the only type of music that Baumann cared for, so he started experimenting under the name of Soulphiction. The German producer’s later alias saw him play around with soul, funk, jazz, and hip-hop, with both sides to his personality being appreciated in different quarters.
See tributes to Baumann below.