Cassius' Philippe Zdar: French music producer dies in fall from building

Electronic pioneer dies in accident at age of 50

By Jack Guy, CNN
Michael Tullberg/Getty Images

DJ Philippe Zdar in 2010.

(CNN) - French electronic music pioneer Philippe "Zdar" Cerboneschi died Wednesday in an accidental fall from a building in Paris.

A spokesman for the Paris prosecutor's office told CNN that an investigation has been opened into the cause of Zdar's death.

The musician was one half of the group Cassius, and died at the age of 50, reports CNN affiliate BFMTV.

"He accidentally fell through the window of a top floor of a Parisian building," Zdar's agent Sebastian Farran told the AFP news agency.

Zdar's ex-wife and mother of his daughter published a black screen on Instagram without comment.

Rapper Oxmo Puccino, a former collaborator, wrote an Instagram post with the following message: "The pain is immense. I fell knocked out while standing. All of my thoughts are with you."

Cassius, which consisted of Zdar and Hubert Blanc-Francard, who is also known as Boom Bass, was formed in 1989 and became a key name in the Paris electronic music scene known as French Touch.

The musical duo is perhaps best known for breakout single "Cassius 1999," which became a chart hit on release in January 1999.

Cassius' latest album "Dreems" is set to be released Friday, and Zdar also worked with UK group Hot Chip on their new album "A Bath Full of Ecstasy," which will be released the same day.

Zdar also produced records for French hip hop artist MC Solaar, Australian band Cut Copy and UK group Franz Ferdinand.

News of his death saw a number of fellow artists paying tribute to Zdar and his work.

"Awful news about Phillipe Zdar, what an unbelievably lovely man with an incredible legacy," tweeted DJ Calvin Harris, adding that he was "mesmerized" by the record "Cassius 1999" when he was 15.

"A true original and a unique talent who was involved in making our first album, as well as so many amazing records," tweeted Cut Copy. "Your energy and generosity will be sorely missed."

US DJ The Black Madonna also tweeted condolences, describing Zdar as "a visionary and tectonic force who shaped the geography of modern dance music."

CNN's Celia Heudebourg, Antoine Crouin and Rebecca Blanchard contributed to this report.

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