Acid house pioneer Earl Smith Jr. aka DJ Spank Spank has died; he was a co-founder of the massively influential Chicago trio Phuture, known for their 1987 record Acid Tracks on Trax Records. Phuture remains active to this day, but at this time they have not released an official statement about Smith's passing. Chicago DJ The Black Madonna tweeted the news this morning from Berlin, Germany.
DJ Pierre is another co-founder of Phuture who has also had an illustrious solo career. Their current third member is Lothario Lee; the original third co-founding member in 1985 was Herbert Jackson.
Pierre shared a statement about passing with THUMP via email. "Spanky is the reason why the group Phuture was formed," he said. "The world has no idea how talented he was and how much I depended on him. He texted me last night saying he was working on music and how excited he was to have this opportunity to perform again. We were working on our album project and he was so excited about that. I'm just speechless right now. He lived for this music. So we will make sure he forever will live in this music we created together. He will be in a better place. Love each other people. Love life."
Smith suffered a stroke on May 21 of this year, according to a post on Phuture's Facebook page. On May 23 they posted an update saying that "Surgery went well and he's now recognizing people, places and things." They also encouraged fans to post pictures of the artist and Phuture from over the years in the thread "so he knows we are all walking this journey with him."
As a solo artist, Smith released material between 1995-1998 on labels ranging from Strictly Rhythm to Sex Tracks and Djax-Up-Beats.
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