Big Dada affiliated designer / producer Offshore has passed away at the age of just 27.
Real name Ewan Robertson, Offshore may be most immediately familiar through his design work. Developing his own style, Robertson helped craft the sleeves for Bonobo's 'Black Sands' series and plenty more. Striking up a partnership with the Ninja Tune group of labels, the designer helped to spearhead their visual approach.
Yet Offshore always harboured musical ambitions of his own. A talented producer, released his debut album 'Bake Haus' through Ninja Tune earlier this year to widespread acclaim. This afternoon, though, the label posted a note on its website to inform fans that Ewan Robertson had passed away.
The note in full:
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It is with great sadness that we have to tell you that Ewan Robertson aka Offshore has died. Ewan has been a stalwart of the Big Dada label for many years, first as a volunteer while he studied graphic design at St Martins, secondly, with Oscar Bauer, as one of the greatest designers ever to work for Ninja Tune or Big Dada, responsible for iconic covers such as the Wiley 'black playground' image for Playtime Is Over, the Roots Manuva slime-head for Slime & Reason and Bonobo's Black Sands triptych. Lastly, Ewan became one of Big Dada's recording artists as Offshore, when he played us some of the music he was working on and we were once again blown away by his talent and the originality of his vision.
An incredibly subtle man, part of his talent was to make difficult things look easy. His recent record, Bake Haus, was one such example, apparently thrown off without breaking a sweat, but actually the result of considerable thought and skill - the minimalism a deliberate choice, beautifully delivered on. He was also, in addition to his many talents, one of the finest individuals we have had the honour of working with - straightforward, positive, funny and understated, he was a proper gent. We will miss him terribly and send all our love to Jen and his family, whose loss is so much greater.
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A few tributes:
kidkanevil: "just can not believe it. rest in peace Ewan Robertson a.k.a Offshore, 1985 - 2012. we're gonna miss you brother".
Donky Pitch: "Horrible news about Offshore. Ewan was one of the nicest guys we've met over the years since we started Donky Pitch. A truly lovely person."
SnapClicker: "RIP Offshore. Created some of my favourite Ninja Tune/Big Dada record sleeves such as Bonobo's Black Sands and the Wiley Playtime Is Over."