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Benjamin Curtis RIP
Laurie Tuffrey , January 7th, 2014 06:39

Founding member of Secret Machines and School Of Seven Bells passes away aged 35

Last week, Benjamin Curtis, a founding member of Texas space rock trio Secret Machines and dream pop outfit School Of Seven Bells, passed away aged 35. He had been battling with T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma after being diagnosed with the cancer early last year.

After moving to Dallas, Texas from his native Oklahoma, Curtis formed UFOFU with his brother Brandon and Joseph Butcher. Following that band's break up in 1998, Curtis joined fellow Dallas group Tripping Daisy, before reuniting with his brother to form Secret Machines in 2000. He recorded two albums with the band, Now Here Is Nowhere in 2004 and Ten Silver Drops in 2006, before leaving in 2007 to focus on School Of Seven Bells, the band he'd founded with Alejandra and Claudia Deheza of On!Air!Library!.

In a tribute piece posted on the Sonic Cathedral website, the label's founder Nathaniel Cramp remembers first meeting Curtis as a fan of Secret Machines and the role he played in the formation of the SC imprint, through which School Of Seven Bells released their debut 7", 'My Cabal', in 2007. Writes Cramp: "Aside from being a hugely talented musician, Benjamin was a genuinely good soul [...] he always had time for others, whether it was shouting out to some friends who had just got married in Norwich, getting another friend into a show in Chicago, or taking time out to listen to another’s demos."

Listen to Secret Machines' ace closer to their debut album, 'Now Here Is Nowhere', and watch the video for 'Lafaye' from School Of Seven Bells' 2012 album Ghostory below: