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Peter Rehberg Has Died, Aged 53
Christian Eede , July 23rd, 2021 09:53

Rehberg founded the Editions Mego label and released music as Pita

Peter Rehberg, experimental musician and the founder of Editions Mego, has died, aged 53, following a heart attack.

The news was confirmed in a statement by French label INA-GRM, with whom Editions Mego had collaborated on a number of releases such as the Recollection GRM and Portraits GRM series. "It is with infinite sadness that we have learned that Peter Rehberg is gone," INA-GRM's statement, shared to social media, reads.

It continues, referring to the labels' collaborations: "It is thanks to Peter Rehberg's unparalleled probity and enthusiasm that these initiatives have been successful. This respect, this attentive benevolence towards artists, can be witnessed by all those who had the chance to collaborate with him and his departure will leave a huge void.

"No other musician could so skilfully merge sonic energies and densities with an abrasive and melancholic musical sensibility. Whether solo, as Pita, or in his collaborative projects, Peter Rehberg has left his mark on the international experimental music scene for decades. We have lost a dear friend."

Rehberg's earliest releases, beginning in the mid-'90s, saw him collaborate with the likes of Fennesz, Jim O'Rourke and Oren Ambarchi, musicians that he maintained a close partnership with throughout his time as an artist and label owner. He joined Austrian label Mego in 1995, running the label alongside founders Ramon Bauer and Andreas Pieper after Peter Meininger left.

With Mego, he released a number of albums under his own name, as well as under his main Pita alias, such as 1996's Seven Tons For Free and 1999's Get Out. In 1999, he was awarded the Prix Ars Electronica Distinction Award for Digital Musics, alongside collaborator Christian Fennesz.

Mego became Editions Mego in 2006, with Rehberg as its founder. In the 15 years since, the imprint has spawned a number of sub-labels such as Spectrum Spools, Recollection GRM, Sensate Focus and Stephen O'Malley's Ideologic Organ. Editions Mego has continued to release music from across Rehberg's solo and collaborative projects, which include KTL (with Stephen O'Malley), Fenn O'Berg, Peterlicker and NPVR (with Nik Void).

Editions Mego has released music from a wide cast of experimental artists, including Keith Fullerton Whitman, Stephen O'Malley, Oneohtrix Point Never, Emeralds, Mika Vainio, Klara Lewis, Caterina Barbieri and much more. Rehberg's own releases, whether solo or collaborative, have appeared on labels such as PAN, Blackest Ever Black, Touch and Staalplaat.

Oren Ambarchi has paid tribute to Rehberg, writing: "We are all absolutely heartbroken." Kassel Jaeger, AKA François Bonnet of INA-GRM, has also shared a tribute, calling him "one of the most kind, loyal and reliable people I have ever known. I feel privileged to have known him, to have collaborated with him and to have been his friend."