UK techno pioneer Lee Purkis, aka In Sync, dies aged 54

UK techno pioneer Lee Purkis, aka In Sync, dies aged 54

Lee Purkis, the DJ known to many as In Sync, has died at the age of 54.

Purkis was regarded as one of the earliest DJs in the UK to support, promote and play house music and techno. He formed Insync vs. Mysteron with Chris Hartley and David Manuel, and together they founded the 10th Planet label in 1992. It was these releases, as well as his solo releases on labels including Plink Plonk, Fragmented Records, Peacefrog, and One Way Static, for which he was best known.

In 1989, he was involved in the opening of FatCat Records in his hometown of Crawley, East Sussex, which became renowned for its stock of dance records that Purkis largely found through trips to Detroit and Chicago.

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In 1992, Purkis released the track ‘Storm’, which would stay popular on dancefloors for years to come. He then launched another label, Fortune8, in 2006, returning that same year with new music and archived material recorded in the late ‘90s.

Kirk Degiorgio, a close friend of Purkis, told Resident Advisor that Purkis was one of the “trailblazing music heads who first went to Detroit to seek out the makers of the early techno records”.

“In 1991, he came to my place and played me a poorly recorded but stunning cassette master of the now classic Storm / Warm EP. Recorded using just two SH101’s triggered by a Roland TR909 and 808, it was due to be the first release on my ART label,” he said.

DJ Luke Slater paid tribute on Twitter, writing: “Been a few years since I saw Lee .In Sync – Storm is quite frankly a work of art and one of the most haunting and beautiful records I ever heard in Techno . It certainly cemented for me the soul of techno and the journey . Timeless ! RIP Lee and thankyou for the music!”7

German electronic duo Hardfloor added: “Sad to hear about the passing of Lee Purkis. Never met him in person but his music set the bar high and will live on forever Wishing strength to his family, close friends and relatives. Rest in Peace.”

FatCat co-founder Dave Cawley said on Facebook: “FatCat would have never flourished in the way it did without Lee being involved, integral in moving from Crawley to London and shaping our direction. He bought a unique vision and voice to what we were creating.
Personally I learnt so much from being in his company and found him a total inspiration.”

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You can see more tributes below:

Rarely post on here but this felt important to acknowledge. Just heard about Lee Purkis / Insync passing and felt very…

Posted by Dave Cawley on Wednesday, March 22, 2023

I’ve just heard the sad news that my old mate Lee Purkis aka Insync passed away yesterday. Lee was one of UKs early…

Posted by Richard West on Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Purkis’ cause of death is currently unknown.

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