RIP Nilesh Patel aka Nilz at The Exchange

via Jimmy Monsta Funk

Yesterday I heard news of the untimely passing of Nilesh Patel (aka Nilz at The Exchange) and felt compelled to write something down in his honour.

To inveterate records collectors like my extended crew and I, Nilz was a legend without compare.

He worked as a mastering engineer at The Exchange after completing college in 1989 right to way up to the day before his death yesterday (21/12.2011).

He worked extensively on records by Daft Punk (plus the associated Roule and Crydamoure labels), Richie Hawtin / Plastikman and Bjork; and releases from the following diverse record labels (amongst others): NovaMute, Missile, Drumcode, Metalheads, Emotif, SOUR, Rotation, Downwards, Cosmic, Jericho, Kombination Research, M_nus, F-Communications, One Little Indian, Soma, Intec, End Recordings, Proper, Primate, Africanism, Logistic, Phoenix G, Full Pupp, Kitsune, Poker Flat, Cadenza, Skint, Ed Banger, Wichita, Domino, Rush Hour, Eskimo, Young Turks, XL, Ninja Tune, Yellow Productions.

His incredible ears gave full justice to hardcore, breakbeat, jungle, drum and bass, techno, trip-hop, house, electro and many other styles of music; in fact I was totally taken aback by how many records I own that feature his mastering input.

It wasn’t just his ability to deal with thunderous baselines and crisp high-hats, his skill at mastering minimal techno tracks on wax, but also (and in particular) his subtlety with ‘intelligent’ drum and bass; where records can go from loud to quiet and back again in an instant!

Take a look at his discogs page and you will see the 1800+ productions he worked on, covering a wide range of genres.

Here are 12 (given his mastery of the 12 inch record, I thought it apt) highlights showcasing his unique talents (ironically, I’m giving you links to encoded videos. If you want to experience the real deal, pick up some of these tracks on vinyl to really hear the fully rounded sound from this unique ‘master of mastering’).

Gone but never forgotten. Rest in Peace Nilz.