R.I.P. Benjamin Curtis, School Of Seven Bells

School of Seven Bells guitarist Benjamin Curtis succumbed to cancer at the end of December. The band, originally a three-piece, later became a duo when Claudia Deheza left sibling Alejandra and Curtis in 2010. It's sad to think the band will undoubtedly be no more. Their first album was a big influence on me, much like that of the similarly tragic HTRK. SOSB (often spelled SVIIB) mined a seam that seemed to exist in a netherworld halfway between the B-52's and Dead Can Dance, and if Curtis' death can bring them more of the attention they deserve, then I hope it does. A gifted musician who used spacious, deft guitar work as the foundation of SOSB's ethereal travelogues, he was previously a member of Secret Machines, as well as serving in several other underground projects. He was eulogised by Spin and Stereogum.