Angelo Bruschini, Longtime Massive Attack Guitarist, Dead at 62

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The post Angelo Bruschini, Longtime Massive Attack Guitarist, Dead at 62 appeared first on Consequence.

Angelo Bruschini, the masterful guitarist and producer who played with Massive Attack, The Blue Aeroplanes, and others, has died from lung cancer. He was 62 years old.

The news of Bruschini’s passing arrived on Tuesday via a post from his wife, Jessica, on Facebook. “I am very sad to announce that my beautiful husband, Angelo Bruschini, died on 23rd October 2023 at 12.15 a.m.,” she wrote. “It was from a rare and aggressive cancer — pleomorphic carcinoma.”

Massive Attack have also responded to the news. “A singularly brilliant and eccentric talent,” a post from the band’s official Twitter page reads. “Impossible to quantify your contribution to the Massive Attack canon. How lucky we were to share such a life together.”

Bruschini himself posted on Facebook about his condition earlier this year, writing in July that his prognosis did not look good. “Twice now I have been told ‘Good luck’ by specialists at the hospital over lung cancer, I think I’m fucked!” he wrote. “Had a great life, seen the world many many times, met lots of wonderful people, but the door is closing, think I will write a book.”

Bruschini grew up in Bristol, England, and began his career as a musician in the ’80s, playing with a variety of groups, including the rock outfit The Blue Aeroplanes. He stayed with them as a primary member on a number of albums, but by the mid ‘90s, was itching for a new challenge. When he was asked to sit in for a session with Massive Attack, it seemed like he had found what he was looking for.

“I got a call from a friend saying he had Massive Attack in for a session and they wanted a guitarist,” Bruschini said in a 1999 interview with Guitarist Magazine. “ I thought to play with people like that, and to play that kind of music would be a challenge. I was getting a bit bored jangling away on the indie scene, and this seemed like a way of getting into more modern computer music.”

So, Bruschini did the session, but he reportedly didn’t feel too good about his contributions. “[I] left it thinking I’d been dreadful, bloody awful, and I didn’t hear anything for about six months,” he said. But then, Massive Attack’s sophomore album Protection arrived, and lo and behold, Bruschini reported: “I just happened to recognize quite a few samples!”

From there, Massive Attack asked Bruschini to join as a touring member, which he agreed to, even though it was a last-minute offer. “I got a phone call asking if I wanted to go on tour with Massive Attack in three days’ time!” Bruschini said. “So, I just dropped everything because I really liked the music.”

Bruschini went on to be a recurring member of the touring band for the trip hop legends all the way until 2023, and continued to contribute to their albums as well, appearing prominently on their seminal 1999 work, Mezzanine, and its follow-up, 100th Window.

Additionally, Bruschini was an accomplished producer, and collaborated with his fellow Bristolians, Strangelove, to produce their 1997 eponymous album. He also worked with other artists, such as Jane Taylor, Alison Moyet, Apache Dropout, and more.

When asked in the 1999 Guitarist Magazine interview what his guitar playing brought to records, he summed it up in a perfectly succinct way: “Humanity.” Continuing, he explained that “one problem with the digital domain is that it’s too clean… You can have the pure source of the sounds, but we want to screw them up and the best way to do that is to use analogue things, like a guitarist. Even if I wanted to, I couldn’t play the same every night.”

Now, artists, collaborators, and friends have shared an outpour of love for Bruschini in the wake of his passing. The Blue Aeroplanes posted on Facebook that they are “devastated” by the loss of their brother. “Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time,” they wrote. “Rest in peace, Ange.”

Commenting on their post, Bruschini’s wife, Jessica, thanked the band for their love and support, and shared an old photo of Bruschini from his Blue Aeroplane days. “How we laughed!” she wrote. “A gentleman until the end.”

Angelo Bruschini, Longtime Massive Attack Guitarist, Dead at 62
Jo Vito

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