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The iconic American producer, engineer and performer has passed away aged 61.

Yesterday (May 8), it was announced that legendary indie and rock producer, performer and musician Steve Albini had passed away at his recording studio, aged 61.

Throughout his long career, he was the lead of influential bands Shellac and Big Black, while his hand touched many iconic songs and albums in alt-rock scenes in his role as a recording engineer, for which he is best remembered. Since the late 80s, he worked with several underground favourites including PJ Harvey, Low, Fugazi, Mogwai, Pixies, Ty Segall and Sunn O))), while also recording storied mainstream hits like Nirvana’s In Utero and Joanna Newsom’s Ys.

He famously favoured traditional methods of recording, with the liner notes of iconic 1978 Big Black LP Songs About Fucking reading: “The future belongs to analogue [sic] loyalists. Fuck digital.”

Albini’s life was not without controversy, drawing criticism for lewd band names that included Rapeman and similarly extreme song names. In 2021, however, he reflected on his previous actions, and his role in promoting “edgelord” culture.

“A lot of things I said and did from an ignorant position of comfort and privilege are clearly awful and I regret them. It’s nobody’s obligation to overlook that, and I do feel an obligation to redeem myself,” he wrote on Twitter (now called X).

“For myself and many of my peers, we miscalculated. We thought the major battles over equality and inclusiveness had been won, and society would express that, so we were not harming anything with contrarianism, shock, sarcasm or irony.”

He would later speak more widely about his regrets in interviews, telling The Guardian “I’m embarrassed by it, and I don’t expect any grace from anybody about that”. His band Shellac, were due to release their first album To All Trains on May 17, 2024.

His legacy remains titanic though, and in light of his passing, look back on some of Albini’s most important records and most iconic musical moments.