Michel Baumann, the German DJ and producer who has released a range of electronic music under his aliases Jackmate and Soulphiction, has died of cancer, confirms his longtime friend and colleague Nik Reiff Pitchfork. Baumann said in April that he was undergoing chemotherapy in the hospital; Reiff confirms that the cause of death was cancer. He was 52 years old.
In 1985 Baumann began to compose music with his first synthesizer. A few years later, he received a sampler and began to emulate the Chicago house music that came to the Stuttgart record store where he worked. In 2000 he founded the Stuttgart dance label Philpot, named after Larry Levan’s original surname, where he and Blacktrane producer Tobias Ettle would release records for the next two decades. As his Jackmate alias gained momentum in techno circles, Baumann began releasing various club tracks as Soulphiction, with his soul, jazz and hip-hop influences being the foreground. He also played with Reiff and Benjamin Lieten (aka Phlegmatic) in Manmadescience, which released a single album, One, in 2007.
Baumann was originally known as the maestro of minimal techno and released on various labels, including DJ Koze’s Pampa, the German label Perlon and Steve Bug’s Poker Flat, who released Soulphictions 24/7 Love Affair in 2019. The following year he helped start a new label in 18437, which revived his Jackmate nickname with the Deep House EP Modulation Nightdrive. The label would release its last release before his death, Soulphiction’s What What EP, in March of this year.