Published Sep 21, 2016Earl "Spanky" Smith Jr., producer, DJ and founding member of Chicago house progenitors Phuture, has died.
A Facebook post from the group's management confirms that the electronic musician, also known as DJ Spank-Spank, passed away today (September 21). The eulogy calls Smith a "legend," and explains that Phuture will continue on and complete an album they had been working on prior to Smith's death.
Though the conditions of Smith's death have yet to be shared to the public, the house innovator had suffered a stroke this past May and underwent surgery shortly thereafter.
Smith founded Phuture in 1985 alongside DJ Pierre and Herb J. The trio are celebrated for their 1987 single "Acid Tracks," which utilized the bassy synth sound of a Roland TB-303. The song has been referred to as the first acid house single.
While the roster of Phuture went through changes during their initial run, Smith was a constant up until their breakup in the mid-'90s. He went on to work under the project name Phuture 303, but would reunite with his old bandmates in 2014. Ahead of Smith's stroke, the act had toured globally.
You can revisit Phuture's iconic "Acid Tracks" down below, where you'll also find tributes from house musicians Felix Da Housecat and the Black Madonna.
Rest in Power Spank Spank. Thnk u 4 Thee Voice and Thee Acid..Icon and Legend. Love👊🏾🙌🏾 https://t.co/UgehYJmFNl— Felix Da Housecat (@TheeRealFDHC) September 21, 2016
We Are PHUTURE— Felix Da Housecat (@TheeRealFDHC) September 21, 2016