Steve Albini, the legendary indie rock producer who hated the title producer, has died at the age of 61

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American musician and producer Steve Albini poses at the Electric Audio Expo in Chicago on June 24, 2005.


Steve Albini, the audio engineer who influenced the sound of alternative rock and indie rock musicians like Nirvana and the Pixies, died Tuesday night in Chicago of a heart attack at age 61, according to his recording studio, Electrical Audio.

The studio said it had no further comment but plans to post more details on its website later this week.

In addition to being the founder and owner of Electrical Audio, Albini was the audio engineer behind releases by musical acts such as The Breeders, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Mogwai, Jesus Lizard, PJ Harvey, Joanna Newsom, Super Chunk, Low, Jawbreaker, Neurosis, Cloud Nothings, Bush, The Stooges, Jarvis Cocker, Cheap Trick, Slint, Veruca Salt and even Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, among others. Much more.

A biography of Albini on his recording studio’s website says he “was known for his philosophy of natural recording and meticulous analogue working methods.”

Albini has been outspoken about the music industry, best known for writing in 1993 for The puzzling one He believes that major labels take advantage of young bands.

“Once the band signs the letter of intent, they will either eventually sign a contract that suits the brand or they will be destroyed,” Albini wrote.

Albini also avoided the title producer.

“Now, all that is required to be a complete ‘product’ is the audacity you need to claim to be one,” Albini wrote. “That is why few self-respecting engineers allow themselves to be called ‘producers’.”

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He preferred the title recording engineer.

He wrote Rough Trade Records, which released many of the records he worked on In a post on X He “always brought an intangible brilliance to the studio, as the recordings he made for us with Jarvis, Lou, and Midi Black attest.”

In a 1993 interview with Tracking anglesupported by the publication that followed Albini’s death, Albini expanded on his views on his job.

“Most recording engineers are not fans of recorded music, first and foremost. They are fans of engineering, first and foremost,” he told the publication.

He later added: “When I record a song with a band, the band is in charge. I’m there as a technologist, basically, to make what they do every day part of their normal lives, and to have that come over the speakers to someone listening at home.

A talented musician, Albini was also the front man of the rock band Shellac and the punk rock band Big Black.

Shellac recently announced a new album, the band’s sixth studio LP, which will be released on May 17.

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