Acclaimed Detroit house and techno producer Aaron-Carl Ragland died of cancer consistent with lymphoma last week, just seven days after being diagnosed with the disease.
The one time Underground Resistance member and prolific producer documented his battle with the disease in graphic, often heart-wrenching detail on Twitter, a medium he’d embraced with a characteristic searing honesty that in retrospect seemed to foretell his impending fate.
Complaining of feeling ‘underestimated, disrespected, so neglected, knocked down & rejected’ on July 4, he added ‘But guess what? I'm still standing. I'm still here, damnit!" going on to reveal in early August that a ‘serial arsonist’ had just tried (and thankfully failed) to set fire to his family’s home in Detroit.
Two weeks later, he was more cheerful, Tweeting ‘the future looks so bright’ and ‘Have u ever been SO IN LOVE with just being alive, you want 2 spread that love 2 everyone around u? That's how I feel right now!’
Entering September he continued to post happy messages looking forward to gigs and a planned collaboration with Colin Dale in London though his messages took a darker turn on September 14 when he announced he was in hospital and asked people to ‘pray for me please’.
Optimistic again soon after (a follow up message read ‘Note 2 self . . . do NOT flirt with the super-hot nurse assistant’) by the 17th he admitted feeling ‘a bit scared’ after being told he’d need surgery for an aneurysm. Then one week later (after lots more Tweets about health checks) he announced ‘Today, the doctor diagnosed me with cancer.’
Switching to Facebook the next day he thanked people for supporting him declaring ‘for years, I’ve noticed I was “hated.” Now at this time in my life, I realize that I’m actually loved’ until on September 28th posted his final message, filled with defiance and hope.
‘Finished the bone marrow biopsy. Ouch!” he declared. “Now I'm preparing for the lymph node removal. Surgery, here I come!’
Two days later his management announced his death,
“It is with great regret and heavy hearts that we announce the sudden passing of Aaron-Carl early morning September 30th 2010,” they said in a message posted on his website, “A talent, a friend, a brother, a legend. You are loved, AC and will be truly missed across the globe,” they added.
British techno legend Dave Clarke paid tribute, telling Skrufff ‘Aaron-Carl was one of those producers that could easily do many styles of underground techno and house authentically and well.’
“I first heard of him back in ‘97 I think, with one of my favourite bassline driven jams ‘Down’ ironically only a few weeks ago he sent me a new digital version of the track because my vinyl transfer was tired,” said Dave.
“He was a very kind hearted individual that had much love and an open heart. In a way it is sad that he didn't get more support when he was with us and by way of an example you can strangely find more of his music on iTunes than you can on Beatport. Hopefully that will change so that the royalties can go to his partner and children.”
Writing on Facebook, Laurent Garnier said ‘Just found out about wonderful Aaron. Can't believe it, I am absolutely shocked. RIP lovely Man. I Will miss u a lot’, and several days later admitted he remained deeply upset.
“I find it very hard to put into words how I feel about Aaron, I’m shocked and really can’t find the words to express myself fully,” Laurent told Skrufff.
“I loved him very much, we were even supposed to see each other in Europe shortly, to make a track together.
“He was a wonderful man,” Laurent added, “And Detroit has lost one of its best soldiers.”
http://www.warmth313.com/ (‘Donations can be made here: All proceeds go towards Aaron-Carl's long time partner, Mel and his two children, Stefan and Jevon . . .’)
Dave' Clarke's White Noise radio show (http://weblogs.vpro.nl/whitenoise ) will pay tribute to Aaron Carl in Part Two of show 261 TX on 16.10.2010
Article by: Jonty Skrufff (http://skrufff.com): Follow Jonty on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/djjontyskrufff