As the rock world mourns the loss of Motörhead founder Lemmy Kilmister, dance music is remembering dance music pioneer Paul Walden, who was known by Guru Josh. According to social media posts Walden died yesterday in Ibiza at the age of 51.
One of the originators of the UK’s post-acid house scene, Walden established his reputation in 1989 thanks to his smash debut single hit “Infinity.” Initially released on his Infinity label, the song was later re-released in 1990 by BMG Records and remixed for re-release in 2008 by the German artist DJ Klaas.
According to a press release for his single “My Burning Bush” released in 2014, “Infinity” has had to date “1.4 billion YouTube hits, 12 million official sales, 9 million ringtones, appeared on 876 compilations, 127 million illegal downloads, 76 million illegal ringtones, PRS voted worldwide No 3, 2009 the most played record on radio, in fact, Infinity 1990, 2008 and 2012 combined, is the biggest selling dance record in history.”
Walden went on to release series of subsequent singles including “Freaky Dreamer,” “Holographic Dreams” and “Whose Law (Is It Anyway?).” In 2008 he launched Guru Josh Project with Anders Nyman and Darren Bailie. The band broke up in 2009 after issuing an updated version of “Infinity” and one new cut.
“This is a sad day for me as I just heard of Guru Josh’s passing,” wrote New York producer on Facebook. “Guru Josh’s was the first electronic music band to reach the pop charts in the UK and make a electronic music tour with DJ’s. This tour brought Carl Cox, Neil McLellan and myself together, which propelled me further into Djing and my music which lead me into the harder sounds now known as hardcore…condolences to his family….Rest In Peace man. and RIP Lemmy too, another legend.”
RIP Guru Josh..An absolute cainer of the highest order..One of the very first acts to do live dance music..Respect is due 👈
— mr fabio (@fabiodnb) December 29, 2015
#RIP Guru Josh. Only 51. I used to play this on my old radio show back in #Detroit. Time for the Guru https://t.co/Ibf2BycLiN
— alan_oldham (@alan_oldham) December 29, 2015
RIP rave pioneer Guru Josh. It’s been a very sad day for music.
— Skint Records (@skintrecords) December 29, 2015
This is a developing story and we will provide updates as we learn more about Walden’s passing.
December 30 update: Walden’s body was discovered by his manager who went by his home to pick him up and take him to the airport on Sunday morning. According to TMZ, Walden had been suffering from depression and was feeling down over Christmas. He decided to book a flight home to see his father but apparently took his life. His family is in the process of making burial arrangements.