Simon DK, legendary DJ and founding member of DiY Sound System, has died

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Simon DK, the legendary DJ best known as a founding member of the Nottingham-based free party collective DiY, has died.

A fellow DiY founder and close friend of Simon, Harry Harrison, broke the news on Thursday, July 6, sharing a tribute on Facebook, writing: “I cannot really express in words my, our, collective sadness at his death. I personally have known him for over 35 years and some of the DiY family have known him even longer than that. We have all been through so much together over the decades and it’s just devastating.”

He announced that Simon DK had been rushed to Glan Clwyd hospital in North Wales on Wednesday, July 5, but life support was medically withdrawn the following day at 5:15PM.

A true pioneering figure who forged the iconic dubbed-out style that has now become the UK midlands house staple, Simon was known for playing slower US house alongside garage dubs, a sound that DiY held on to in future projects with their labels Strictly 4 Groovers and DiY Discs.

Harry Harrison along with Pete ‘Woosh’ Birch (who sadly passed away in 2020), Grace Sands (formerly known as Digs), and Simon DK formed the DiY collective in Nottingham in 1989. DiY’s standpoint came from an anti-establishment stance where they formed a political front against the prevailing anti-rave legislation that was beginning to come into force at that time. DiY was known for its free festivals and summer day parties at abandoned airfields or on hilltops drawing a crowd of urban ravers and travellers. They appeared at era-defining free parties such as Castlemorton Common

Simon also achieved an impressive catalogue of releases as a producer, with several collaborations under his belt under several aliases such as Mayo, DiY, Overview and Sandmen.

Red Rack’em paid tribute on Twitter, writing: “Sending a big hug and thank you to Simon DK. Absolute legend who influenced several generations. He IS deep house. Rest in peace sir.”

Harry’s tribute to Simon adds: “He was a unique man, becoming DiY’s first DJ in those halcyon days of the late 80’s and progressed to become probably the best known free party DJ in the country, inspiring a whole generation of new people to take to the decks.

“Always chaotic, always late but always with sublime music and time for everyone. I have never known such a loved person. Ever.”

Vee Pandey is Mixmag’s Digital Trainee, follow her on Twitter

Written by: Tim Hopkins

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