By Lars Brandle, The Industry Observer | Electronic music producer and DJ Phil K has passed away following a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 51. The Melbourne-based breaks innovator lost his fight some two years after he was diagnosed with terminal cancer.
Friends and family got behind a GoFundMe campaign, which rolled out in early 2019 to help pay for his treatments and recovery from several surgeries and hospital visits.
Donations topped $30,000 within 24 hours, DJ Magazine reported at launch, and went on to raise just shy of $75,000.
A leading figure in Australia’s breaks scene, Phil K (real name Philip Krokidis) was a member of Hi-Fi Bugs and Lo-Step and produced alongside Habersham and Dave Preston in The Operators, among many others.
Phil K cut his teeth DJing back in 1985, initially playing party classics before filling his record crates with breaks, techno and house tunes.
As dance and electronic music emerged from the underground, Phil found his groove, scoring slots on such festivals as The Big Day Out, Vibes on a Summer’s Day, Gatecrasher and Two Tribes, and playing alongside the likes of DJs Sasha, Paul Oakenfold, Dave Seaman, Freq Nasty, Craig Richards and more.
In a series of moving blog posts, Phil K chronicled his struggles with cancer and the painful operations that followed.
“I want to be even stronger than what I used to be. I want get back to work. I want to get back to music and DJ. I want some sense of normality,” he wrote in February 2019.
Australia’s electronic and dance music community is paying its respects to the late artist.
“I’m profoundly saddened to have lost my friend,” writes DJ James Zabiela.
“Whenever we DJed together Phil would often pull off some wizardry that would leave me in awe and I would always try and do something to impress him, because impressing him was important to me. You always want to impress your heroes and Phil was definitely one of mine, on either side of the decks.”
Piknic Électronik Melbourne remembered Phil K as a “hero to Melbourne whether he liked it or not and will be missed by everyone. Much love to his family and all that surrounded him. Rest in Peace.”
Jane Slingo, founder of Young Strangers and Director of Electronic Music Conference (EMC), paid tribute to the late dance floor filler as “an innovator and a pioneer in the truest sense. His technical proficiency was mind blowing and there will never be another like him.”