Philippe “Zdar” Cerboneschi, one of the two members of the iconic electro band Cassius, died in Paris on Wednesday, according to his agent. He was 50.
The Grammy-winning Cerboneschi “made an accidental fall through the window of a high floor of a Parisian building,” the BBC quoted Cerboneschi’s agent as saying.
News of his death Thursday came a day before Cassius is to release its latest album, “Dreems.”
Cassius, formed by Cerboneschi and Hubert Blanc-Francard (aka Boom Bass) in 1996, is one of the leading bands of the French Touch electro movement, along with Daft Punk, Air and Dimitri From Paris. Before launching Cassius, Cerboneschi produced some hip-hop music with Blanc-Francard under the label La Funk Mob.
Cassius was also involved in producing for popular bands such as Phoenix, Beastie Boys and French hip-hop star MC Solaar. As a producer, Cerboneschi won a Grammy Award for Phoenix’s fourth-bestselling album, “Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix,” in 2010.
Cassius was well-known outside of France, breaking through internationally with its debut album, “1999,” the year of its release, which mixed hip-hop, house and funk influences.
The band collaborated with many international music artists, such as Pharrell Williams, Cat Power and Beastie Boy Mike D., who were featured on the band’s 2006 album, Ibifornia.
Cerboneschi also participated in the soundtracks of several movies, including “The Social Network” and most recently the animated feature “Sing.”