Peter Rehberg, founder of influential Austrian record label Editions Mego, has passed away at the age of 53 due to a heart attack, according to Pitchfork. The tragic news was shared by collaborator François Bonnet (AKA Kassel Jaeger) and Bonnet’s label Ina-GRM.
Rehberg has been known as a very important figure in the underground music scene over the last 25 years. He joined the label Mego, which was founded in 1995 by Ramon Bauer, Peter Meininger and Andreas Pieper. The first release from the label was a split 12” from Rehberg and General Magic. Mego shut down in 2005, but was revived the following year by Rehberg and renamed Editions Mego. Over the last 15 years, the label has released many important underground pieces, including recordings from Oneohtrix Point Never, Kevin Drumm, Bruce Gilbert, Emeralds and more.
Rehberg was born and raised in England, later moving to his father’s place of origin Austria. He had numerous musical releases under his name over his 25-year career, many as an artist himself. Under the name Pita, he released his debut album, Seven Tons for Free in 1996, on which he experimented with several groundbreaking electronic textures and glitch-y soundscapes. His following albums, Get Out, Get Down, Get Off and Get In all saw him delve deeper and deeper into the experimental, noisey and ambient end of the sound pool. Rehberg was notable for being a forerunner for using laptops as a tool for musical performances.
In 2006, Rehberg and Stephen O’Malley of Sunn O))) formed the duo KTL, who released six albums together in their decade-and-a-half-long run, the last of which, VII, was released last year. The project was known for their epic ambient sound. He also formed the supergroup Fenn O’Berg with Jim O’Rourke and Christian Fennesz.
Rehberg began working with Bonnet in 2012 on Recollection GRM, an archival project. In an Instagram post, Bonnet talked about Rehberg. “I am heartbroken,” he begins. “Peter is gone, suddenly. Just like that.” He continued in his tribute to Rehberg, “ 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.” Bonnet ended his message with, “This was Peter Rehberg, a person who, through his openness and generosity, served as a beacon and a crossroads for a whole community of musicians. We will miss him terribly. Peter…”
View this post on Instagram