The Wire

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LFO's Mark Bell dies

Mark Bell has died following complications after an operation, confirmed by Warp on their site. Bell was one half of the duo LFO with Gez Varley, and their 1991 album Frequencies was a landmark record for techno and rave.

Bell grew up in Leeds and cofounded LFO in the late 80s. The duo counted Brian Eno, Yellow Magic Orchestra, and Tangerine Dream as key influences, who were listed alongside a host of other names in a voiceover-cum-manifesto to their 1991 track “What Is House?”. In an interview in The Wire 144, Bell told Peter Shapiro: "I used to be really into art when I was at school, that's what I wanted to do... I used to be a real teacher's pet, and my art teacher always used to play Jean Michel Jarre and Kraftwerk when we were doing art, so I got into it through that."

Their first release was a self-titled 12" released on Warp in 1990, from which "LFO (Leeds Warehouse Mix)” made the UK top 20 a year ahead of their debut album. After Varley left the duo around 1996, Bell carried on LFO as a solo project, and he also made music under a slew of pseudonyms: for R&S as Speed Jack, for Synewave as Counterpoint, and for Planet E and others as Clark. Bell also worked with Depeche Mode, producing their Exciter record, and in 1997 began a long standing collaboration with Björk, initially producing her Homogenic album, and subsequently working on many of her albums and tours.