Skip to main content

Home Music Music News

Influential tech house DJ Nathan Coles dies at 52

Coles' sons confirmed his passing in a statement on Facebook

By Joe Goggins

Nathan Coles, 2020
Coles became a major tech house figure in the 1990s. (Photo: Nathan Coles/Facebook)

The acclaimed tech house DJ Nathan Coles has died at the age of 52.

In a joint statement yesterday (February 14), Coles’ sons, Fabian and Josh, broke the news of his suicide on Sunday (February 12). “Sadly Nathan, our dad, had been dealing with a severe mental health crisis which culminated in him taking his own life on the 12th of February, 2023, at the age of 52,” they wrote on Facebook.

“We are all still in shock and can’t believe he is truly gone. But in reality, he never will be. Through the many hundreds, if not thousands, of lives he has touched, he will live on in memory as one of the funniest, kindest characters to have graced this planet. And one of the best dads myself, Josh or Jack could have ever asked. We feel lucky to have known him for as long as we did, and if only a little, at ease knowing he is free from further mental anguish.”

A towering figure of the tech house scene, Coles began his career in London in the early 1990s, hosting parties and illegal raves. He would go on to found the highly influential party Wiggle in 1994, which would go on to hold a residency at Fabric for more than a decade, giving a platform to the likes of Richie Hawtin, Layo & Buschwacka! and Mr. G. 

Tributes poured in across social media. “RIP Nathan Coles, a true tech-house pioneer,” wrote Carl Loben, editor-in-chief of DJ Mag. “From starting those infamous Wiggle parties with [Terry Francis] nearly 30 years ago to his no-nonsense Get Fucked alias and so much more, Nathan was the real deal. Sending love to his family & friends at this difficult time.”

Simone Butler, bassist with Primal Scream, said: “I spent a lot of time at the Wiggle nights and i’d search out every getfucked release from him. He was a figurehead in that scene. Huge love to his closest ones, Terry Francis, Niles Hess, Layo + bushwacka + [Mr. C] very sad.”

Richard West, better known as Mr. C, added: Richard West, aka Mr. C, also paid his respects. He wrote on Facebook: “I’m absolutely floored by the news of the passing of my dear friend Nathan Coles. RIP brother. A nicer man you could not meet. Nathan & I go back 35 years & hit it off the moment we met. Bubbly, hilariously funny, smart, super quick whited & not a bad bone in his body, Nathan was always the life & soul of the party. His energy was totally infectious, which made everyone want to be around him.”

Advice on mental health is available via Campaign Against Living Miserably and the Samaritans.