On 12th November, news broke out that the British DJ/producer Martin Dawson had died overnight in hospital following an aneurysm.
Known also as King Roc and nicknamed Hawk, he was additionally one half of the Two Armadillos alongside Giles Smith. His 2009 album ‘Chapters’ was met with critical acclaim by the dance press worldwide. Still recognised as one of the most genre-defining deep house albums of its generation, it scored ‘album of the month’ in our pages and received a nomination for Best Album at our Best Of British 2009 awards.
During a career spanning over ten years, he switched to making music under his own name in 2010, delivering deep house treasure ‘Sunday Smoking’ (featured on his last LP with the same title in 2011), as well as productions alongside Glimpse, Jay Shepheard, Tim Sheridan and Andre Cromfor lauded labels Crosstown Rebels, Hypercolour, Moodmusic and Leftroom.
Based in Berlin for the last part of his career, he was regarded within the industry as an affable character with exceptional talent as a producer and DJ. Much loved by those lucky enough to come across him, Martin – the man and the music – will be sorely missed.
Production partner and close acquaintance Giles Smith offered this testimony in memory of him:
“I have lost a great friend. We met casually at secretsundaze years ago but that memory is hazy. Our friendship was cemented whilst he worked in Phonica and we decided to work together. From the first studio sessions in 2006 it was clear that we had a strong chemistry that was of course rooted in music but most of all emanated from the fact that we got on so well, laughed so much together, were both extremely open people (we told each other pretty much everything) and both shared a love of cakes and beer (not at the same time i hasten to add!).”
He continued; “Its a cliche to hear these things when someone passes away but he genuinely was one of the nicest, warmest and loving people I have ever met. He always had time for people and certainly a lot of patience with me! It goes without saying as a producer, DJ and working alongside me as an engineer his skills and knowledge were totally exceptional. I was so happy to find someone that could help me realize some of the ideas I had.”
“I will also remember Martin most as being one of the few people that talked as much as I do and i will miss him hugely.”
Our thoughts and prayers go to his family and friends on this tragic death which shocked us all.