If you ever visit my studio, in the toilet there is a sign at man-who-is-urinating eye-level. It says in jaunty bold italics ‘if you miss when you piss, wipe it up!’ Every time I go to the loo its corny rhyming monosyllables make me smile. The toilet used to get pretty filthy; since the sign went up it hasn’t. The man who wrote the sign, Martin Dawson was also jovial and easy to like, and he too was really good at his job.
At lunchtime on November 1st, 2012 Martin collapsed at our studio with what was later diagnosed to be an aneurysm. He was found by one of my other studio partners Sasse Lindblad a few minutes afterward and rushed to hospital. He died two weeks later. For us who saw him every day at work, even if it was only for a cup of tea and a natter or to check a mix, or talk about a new compressor plug-in it’s not really begun to sink in yet. He’s not there, next door, and he should be and it’s bitterly unfair.
We are just a handful well down the ranks of the very many people who are missing Martin now. As well as family and loved ones there are those thousands who knew his music. As a DJ I will miss the laser-guided accuracy of his tracks; so many great releases in the last twelve months alone. They were sure-things, get-out-of-jail-free cards, but generous and joyous ones; you always knew when you dropped one, even brand-new and unmastered, that it would smash the dance-floor.
It’s his funeral this week at the Crematorium in Treptow in the city that he and many of us have made our home. As is the way with funerals there will be much grief but there will also be jokes and stories and happy memories. We have so very much to remember him by and yet not nearly enough. We’re only starting to say goodbye.
Note: this was my last column for Groove magazine; I would like to say thanks to everyone who has grabbed me at a gig or dropped me a line to say how much they’ve enjoyed them and most of all to Heiko Hoffman who persuaded a doubtful me that it would be a good idea in the first place. It’s been a great pleasure. I will be back writing in a different format soon. See you then.