The 30-year-old techno producer Garrett Falls Lockhart, previously known as Fawks, more commonly as i_o, passed away on November 23rd. His Twitter account posted a statement the following day, “the world lost a beautiful soul,” it says, the somber tone reverberating through the internet like one of Lockhart’s experimental beats, “This extremely talented spirit taught us that even if nothing matters, you can still lead with love. Garrett’s truth and soul lives on through the music he shared.”
No cause of death has been officially confirmed, but it certainly came as a shock to electronic music fans and artists everywhere, as his latest release “Castles in the Sky” was just released on November 20th. The shift from Soundcloud plug to obituary tweet is not one easily softened– and the impact hangs heavy over our heads this week.
This Los Angeles based artist drew much of his inspiration from deadmau5, a fellow producer and pillar of the electronic, techno, and progressive house community. “Going to miss you my dude,” Joel Thomas Zimmerman (deadmau5) tweeted on the 24th, “it was a real pleasure working with you and watching you succeed… may you find rest, and let your music live on into eternity.”
The two often worked together since Lockhart’s debut as i_o in 2017, and he frequently released music under the mau5trap label. “It has been an absolute pleasure and honor working alongside i_o and his incredible team for the past few years, building this passion project from the ground up.” one Billboard article quotes, referring to Zimmerman and Lockhart’s collaborative efforts to bring the i_o vision to fruition. The comments beneath his statement are overflowing with a mix of sadness, praise, and memorable i_o sets. One fan posted his Halloween Virtual Rave-A-Thon performance, and I have it on now as I write this.
Rezz also took to Twitter to express her sorrow for the loss of this talented, creative soul. It truly is gut-wrenching to see these artists mourn from such a distance, separated by pixels on a screen and covid in the air. This death adds yet another absurdly heavy straw to our backs as we trudge to the end of 2020.