Mark Bell of the influential electronic music group LFO passed away earlier this month, his label Warp Records announced Monday. “It’s with great sadness that we announce the untimely passing of Mark Bell of LFO who died last week from complications after an operation. Mark’s family & friends request privacy at this difficult time,” Warp wrote in a statement. No other details were revealed. Bell was also a well known producer who worked with artists like Björk and Depeche Mode.
Bell founded LFO with Gez Varley in 1988, and the duo soon became one of the seminal acts on the rave scene. LFO were also among the first batch of artists to flock to the electronic music powerhouse Warp Records along with the likes of Autechre and Richard D. James. LFO’s self-titled track “LFO” also marked Warp’s first Top 20 hit. Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker directed the “LFO” music video.
Varley left LFO in 1996, and while Bell continued to perform under the moniker, he soon shifted his focus to production. Starting with Björk’s 1995 Post bonus track “I Go Humble,” Bell would work on each of the Icelandic singer’s albums from her 1997 classic Homogenic up through 2011’s Biophilia. Bell also collaborated on Deltron 3030’s 2000 self-titled album and produced Depeche Mode’s Exciter.
Following the news of Bell’s death, many in the dance music community turned to Twitter to pay tribute to the LFO great. “RIP Mark Bell. His work has always been an inspiration, total amazing balance of intensity and lush melodic atmospheres. So tragic :(,” Machinedrum wrote. Fellow Warp labelmate Mark Pritchard tweeted, “Mark Bell – Thanks for all the Bass and wicked music,” linking to a video of LFO’s “Freeze.” Nathan Fake wrote, “horrified to learn about Mark Bell. one of my musical heroes. devastated. RIP.” Artists like Django Django, Luke Abbott, and Drums of Death have also passed along their condolences.
Hours before Bell’s death was announced, Björk’s social media accounts posted Bell’s 1995 remix of her “Possibly Maybe.” After Bell’s passing was confirmed, Björk shared LFO’s “Love Is the Message” with her nearly four million combined followers.