Phill Niblock 1933–2024

Phill Niblock RIP
“Master of Minimalism”

Phill was one of those it is hard to imagine the world without. Always working, moving, chatting, asking, (“Hey! – What’s happening!”… a declaration not a question), his extraordinary energy belied his slowly evolving work. He lived a long life doing what he loved, releasing records for over 7 decades (who else can claim that? Not many…), Phill holds a unique place in the history of recorded music, and it was an honour to work with him for a good chunk of that time. He was a superb film-maker and photographer. Ask for a photo for his new album, he would submit a full folio (here are some unused ones below). Ask for 20 minutes of sound and he’d send 3 hours. Deeply rooted in an analogue sensibility and its acoustic, digital formats were a godsend to Phill. Our last collaboration “Working Touch” came on a USB stick with 22GB of material – Phill considered this to be his valediction. Of his generation, perhaps only Morton Subotnik (90), LaMonte Young (88), & Alvin Curran (at a sprightly 85) are around to hold the candle and show that the way things used to be done are increasingly, not less valid. Rest in peace, Phill – and thank you. We’ll be listening for the sounds as they come through the clouds. [Mike & Jon, 9th January 2024]

You can read an obituary by Lawrence English in The Quietus here

Phill Niblock was interviewed by Mike Harding for his very first edition of Long Wave, 8th October 2013. You can listen to the full broadcast here.