Just before the end of the year the sad news emerged that Maxi Jazz, lead singer of Faithless, had died. There are plenty of great obituaries and tributes out there that are worth a read. Here is one from the Guardian.
What stands out for me about him as a performer is how he brought soul and emotion into dance music. Lyrics which make you think, or move you through their poetry, are rarely found in tracks that are at home in the nightclub. His charisma and presence give Faithless’ music a sense of awe which is very, very hard to replicate. The lyrics are not necessarily complex, but they clearly come from the heart, and delivered by Maxi, have a real sense of power.
When I started my first real job at the age of 21 I was taken out to lunch by some colleagues to welcome me to the team. Putting me on the spot, one of them asked me which song in the world I knew all of the words to. They were pretty bemused by my answer of We Come 1. Equally I could have said Insomnia (which I listened to over and over again in bed on my iPod Classic). These tracks were a huge part of my dance music awakening.
Maxi Jazz left a permanent mark on music. His work will be long remembered. RIP.