I’ll start this piece off by saying I cried when I heard Robert Miles passed away. It hurt me more than I expected it would, for I did not know this man personally and had never even met him. But like many, I listened to the tracks off Dreamland in my edm infancy and was exposed to a completely different side of electronic music. I played the album after hearing the news and the river of emotion was unleashed, leaving me racked with sadness. Miles left this world too soon at 47 years old. It was revealed on Open Lab’s Facebook page that he was battling stage 4 metastatic cancer for the last nine months.
It is with a very heavy heart that we say our farewell to Roberto Concina, known as Robert Miles. Robert passed away…
The last few days have been a reminder that we have this one life and we have an obligation to ourselves to be our best self, to do the things others may be hesitant to do, and live our lives the way we see fit. Robert Miles is best known for Dreamland, but he produced four more albums: 23am (1997), Organik (2001), Miles_Gurtu (produced in 2004 in conjunction with Trilok Gurtu), and Th1rt3en (2011). These albums crossed genres, traveling between broken beat, ambient, downtempo, and house. Too often in youth, we let those who say they know better dictate our paths, but Miles was not one to throw his independence away. In 2001 he formed his own label, Salt Records and 11 years later founded the aforementioned Open Lab, a project that started out as a radio station broadcasting from Ibiza that would eventually turn into a resource for the latest in culture, technology, music, and the creative arts. Robert Miles had a vision for Open Lab, Ibiza, and the world. In an interview with Addicted to Ibiza, Robert Miles talked about the project, technology, and the future of music.
“I mean…Ibiza is well known (especially in the last decade) for having a large international community of creative people, all of whom are forward thinking in their ideas and their way of living.
Afer meeting many of them over the years I noticed that they all had about two common complaints, firstly about the music being played in the clubs and radio stations (especially after the mid-‘90s) and secondly the fact that there wasn’t a single place on the island where the resident members of this international community could gather and simply hang out, exchange their views about life – whether music, art, technology, ecology, education, the world of tomorrow etc. – and listen to something different than they’d been hearing at every other club and radio station for the last 15 years.
I totally sympathized with them and so started thinking about ways of bringing all these people (and not just those living in Ibiza) together. The idea of a combined Internet radio station and creative centre came to mind and after thinking about it for a while I eventually met with some other people last year who had a similar idea.”
Over the years, Robert Miles has amassed a long-lasting following and cultivated an approach to life that involved embracing innovation and humanity’s creativity. His tracks were some of the first I heard that would bring me into the embrace of trance music. He was more than “Children.” He was more than a DJ. Robert Miles was a remarkable human being and he will be missed but never forgotten. I leave you with this cover of “Children” made by a good friend, a cover that made my eyes water all over again. It’s hard to say goodbye, but Robert Miles paved the way for so many to introduce their talents to the world. For that, I am thankful.