Guitarist Angelo Bruschini, known for his work with seminal trip hop act Massive Attack, tragically passed away on Monday at the age of 62. The band confirmed his death on social media, expressing their deep grief and admiration for his unique talents. Their statement read: “RIP Angelo. A singularly brilliant & eccentric talent. Impossible to quantify your contribution to the Massive Attack canon. How lucky we were to share such a life together.” Bruschini’s wife Jessica Merritt shared on Facebook that her spouse succumbed to pleomorphic carcinoma, a rare and aggressive form of lung cancer, on October 23, 2023.
Bruschini, originally from Bristol, began his musical journey in the 1980s with art-rock group The Blue Aeroplanes. He first crossed paths with Massive Attack in the mid-1990s, when he was invited to sit in on one of their recording sessions. In a 1999 interview, Bruschini candidly admitted that he had left the studio that day thinking he had performed poorly. Much to his surprise, he recognized some of his guitar work incorporated on the band’s acclaimed 1995 album Protection, and was shortly thereafter invited to join their upcoming tour. Bored with the indie music scene and eager to explore what he described as “modern computer music,” he accepted the challenge.
Bruschini’s played a pivotal role in crafting Massive Attack’s groundbreaking 1998 album Mezzanine. The album reached Number One in the U.K., spawning hits like “Teardrop” and “Risingson,” and has since earned double-platinum certification. Bruschini’ also contributed to Massive Attack’s 2003 release, “100th Window,” as well as their 2004 soundtrack for Louis Leterrier’s film Unleashed. Though he didn’t participate in their later studio recordings, his guitar playing was recognized as an essential element in shaping Massive Attack’s innovative sound, adding a human touch to their predominantly electronic and sample-based music.
Angelo Bruschini’s untimely passing is mourned by those who knew him in the tight-knit Bristol music community. His fellow musicians, friends, and fans remember him not only for his remarkable musical talents but also for his madcap sense of humor and unwavering determination in the face of adversity. Bruschini’s work has left an indelible mark on the world of music, both locally and globally.
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