DJ Philippe Zdar dead at 52: Calvin Harris, David Guetta, more pay tribute

French DJ and music producer Philippe Zdar died on Wednesday, June 19. He was 52.

Zdar’s booking agent confirmed to The New York Times that the Cassius member died after accidentally falling through a window on a high floor of a building in Paris.

Zdar (real name Philippe Cerboneschi) was best known for being one half of the electronic duo Cassius with Hubert “Boom Bass” Blanc-Francard. They started working together in 1988 and found success around the world in the 1990s and 2000s with their synth-pop singles. Jay-Z and Kanye West famously sampled Cassius’ song “I Love You So” on “Why I Love You,” a cut from the rappers’ 2011 joint album, Watch the Throne.

Cassius’ new album, Dreems, is scheduled to be released on Friday, June 21. It comes 20 years after their debut, 1999.

Throughout his career, Zdar also produced music for other artists. Perhaps most notably, he worked on the French indie band Phoenix’s 2009 album, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, which won a Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album. The record’s success inspired musicians such as West, 42, and Pharrell Williams to work at Zdar’s Paris recording studio, Motorbass.

8 PHOTOS
Stars pay tribute to DJ Philippe Zdar
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Stars pay tribute to DJ Philippe Zdar
So fucking sad to learn about Philippe Zdar last night. A true, true legend whose influence hangs over not just dan… https://t.co/0GrOqgznqD
Awful news about Phillipe Zdar, what an unbelievably lovely man with an incredible legacy. I was mesmerized by this… https://t.co/7rSd5btKBo
Sad awakening here :( I just heard Philippe Zdar from @CASSIUSOFFICIAL passed away. I can’t stop remembering amazin… https://t.co/KDgZn2QTZP
Rest In Peace Philippe Zdar: electronic music pioneer, DJ extraordinaire, decorated producer and the world’s greatest mix engineer. He mixed Needy Girl and Rage for the Euro release of our first album. Then he mixed the entire Fancy Footwork and Business Casual albums. Needless to say, he played a huge role in developing our sound. I spent countless hours with him at Studio Plus XXX and Motorbass in Paris, watching him work on those records, in awe. He taught me so much. Pee and I are still at a loss for words and we’ll post more about this musical genius, this beautiful man, mentor and friend, later this week. For now we send our thoughts to all of Zdar’s family and close ones. He was ADORED. This is a tremendous loss for the music community. Code bro Zdarus, on t’aime. - Dave
philippe zdar was such a huge inspiration. i remember spending weeks mastering ‘unbelievers’ — putting it up agains… https://t.co/Tv03FqM5Vo
RIP Philippe Zdar, a visionary and tectonic force who shaped the geography of modern dance music. I am so sorry to… https://t.co/URqluMsd9O
Philippe Zdar was a great inspiration, both as a producer, but particularly as a good man and friend. His taste wa… https://t.co/RA3IBx2aPp
Hearing of the death of Philippe Zdar has left us stunned and immensely sad. He was a kind, open and endlessly enthusiastic man who brought happiness to everyone around him. We are deeply sorry for his family and friends. Au revoir Phillippe, et merci X
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After news broke of Zdar’s death, several members of the music community took to social media to pay tribute to him. Calvin Harris tweeted a link to “Cassius 1999” and wrote, “Awful news about Phillipe Zdar, what an unbelievably lovely man with an incredible legacy. I was mesmerized by this record as a 15 year old.”

David Guettatweeted a photo of Zdar, writing, “Sad awakening here 🙁 I just heard Philippe Zdar from @CASSIUSOFFICIAL passed away. I can’t stop remembering amazing parties we had all together. All my loving to your family, BoomBass and Pedro. RIP.”

Former Vampire Weekend member Rostam Batmanglij added, “Philippe zdar was such a huge inspiration. i remember spending weeks mastering ‘unbelievers’ — putting it up against phoenix’s ‘1901’ as the benchmark of an incredible mix, —nothing could touch it. we had to mix it over and over again just to get close.”

Zdar is survived by his wife, Dyane Cerboneschi, and his three children.

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