Philippe Zdar of Cassius killed in fall from Paris building

Phillipe Zdar
(Image credit: Foc Kan / Getty)

DJ and producer Philippe Zdar, known for his work as one half of French house outfit Cassius, and production work with a glittering array of big-name acts, has died following an accidental fall from a Paris building, his agent has confirmed this morning.

"He made an accidental fall, through the window of a high floor of a Parisian building," said Sebastien Farran, without giving further details.

As Cassius, Philippe Zdar and Hubert Blanc-Francard, aka Boom Bass, helped usher in a decade of Franco-funk breaks and filtered disco house to the global dance music scene. Along with outfits such as Bob Sinclar, Daft Punk and Stardust, they played a part in reinvigorating the stale script that '90s electronic music producers were reading from. 

Bored with a straight-up four-to-the-floor approach to beatmaking, they dug deep into their collective influences of hip-hop, Detroit techno, Minneapolis funk, NY electro and disco, and stuffed the lot into their restless samplers.

But it's easy to forget that, prior to Cassius's seminal album, 1999,  Zdar also worked with Etienne de Crécy in the project Motorbass, as well as producing hip-hop as La Funk Mob with Cassius cohort, Boom Bass. 

Zdar went on to build a brilliant career as a solo producer, working with acts as diverse as Beastie Boys, Phoenix and Cat Power.

The shocking news is all the more tragic given that Zdar was genuinely at the peak of his powers; Cassius’s latest album, Dreems, is set for release this Friday. Zdar also produced Hot Chip’s latest album, A Bath Full of Ecstasy, also out Friday.

Stars from the world of electronic music have reacted with shock and sadness to news of Zdar's death. You can read a selection of their tributes below.


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