by carl wilson

Suddenly Saddened

I'm sorry to pass along the news that Nikki Sudden (Nicholas Godfrey), best known for his early work as part of the groundbreaking 1970s UK-DIY band Swell Maps, died yesterday (Sunday) at 49, after playing a show Sat. night at the Knitting Factory. The cause of death hasn't been made public. Sudden had been putting out very strong solo discs on Secretly Canadian; apparently he'd just finished a new one and was nearly done writing his autobiography, The Last Bandit. Chillingly, Sudden's younger brother Epic Soundtracks (Kevin Godfrey) also died of unknown causes, in 1997 - Nikki's partner in Swell Maps, who also went on to a solo career. Some reports said suicide, others that he'd died in his sleep. If Swell Maps, in particular, are unfamiliar to you, take this chance to school yourself: One of the first Rough Trade bands, they began in 1972, became part of the punk/postpunk explosion in 1977, and disbanded in 1980. Genuine individualists, their Can-and-glam-influenced bedroom-tape sound in many ways (along with fellow travellers like the Television Personalities and later Orange Juice) cleared paths for the meandering basement-workshop pop-avant of many artists in the '90s and '00s, including Pavement, the Shrimper, Kill Rock Stars and K Recs crowds, and even up to Fiery Furnaces or Animal Collective. Trip to Marineville and the International Rescue compilation make fine starting points. Check out Chapter 2 of Simon Reynolds' Rip It Up and Start Again for more history; I believe Jon Savage also discusses them, either in England's Dreaming or his Time Travel collection.

| Posted by zoilus on Monday, March 27 at 3:42 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (2)

 

COMMENTS

Curse the name of Evan Dando every time you think of what we've lost.

Posted by David on March 29, 2006 2:26 PM

 

 

That came as a shock. Thanks for bringing the news, Carl.

Posted by Chris on March 28, 2006 1:32 AM

 

 

 

Zoilus by Carl Wilson