Music

Peter Rehberg, Founder of Influential Label Editions Mego, Dies at 53

Peter Rehberg, Founder of Influential Label Editions Mego, Dies at 53

The British-Austrian artist released landmark electronic and ambient albums by the likes of Fennesz and Oneohtrix Point Never
Peter Rehberg
Peter Rehberg, photo courtesy of Forced Exposure

Peter Rehberg, the British-Austrian founder of the influential label Editions Mego, has died of a heart attack, The Guardian reports. Rehberg’s collaborator François Bonnet, who records as Kassel Jaeger, and Bonnet’s label Ina-GRM both shared the news. An artist in his own right, Rehberg released a string of noise- and ambient-oriented albums across his 25-year career, including collaborations with Jim O’Rourke, Christian Fennesz, and Sunn O)))’s Stephen O’Malley. Peter Rehberg was 53.

Born and raised in England before moving to his father’s native Austria, Rehberg released his debut album as Pita, Seven Tons for Free, in 1996. The previous year, he had released the debut single on Austrian label Mego, in which he went on to take a management role. The label housed several key underground composers, such as Fennesz and Florian Hecker, before closing in 2005.

The following year, Rehberg relaunched the label as Editions Mego, now a revered institution of electronic music. Oneohtrix Point Never, Emeralds, Caterina Barbieri, Mark Fell, Oren Ambarchi, and Bill Orcutt have all released records on the imprint, which also spawned sublabels including Spectrum Spools, Sensate Focus, and Stephen O’Malley’s Ideologic Organ. Editions Mego continued to release Rehberg’s own work, including his projects KTL (with Stephen O’Malley) and Fenn O’Berg (with Jim O’Rourke and Christian Fennesz).

In 2012, Rehberg began working with François Bonnet on the archival project Recollection GRM, reissuing work from the 1950s electronic music collective Groupe de Recherches Musicales. On Instagram, Bonnet wrote, “I am heartbroken. Peter is gone, suddenly. Just like that. He hated goodbyes, effusions. Out of reserve. Out of sensitivity. He was one of the most kind, loyal and reliable people I have ever known. I feel privileged to have known him, to have collaborated with him and to have been his friend. I owe him so much. So do many of us.”

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