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Musician Luis Vasquez, who performed as the Soft Moon, dies at 44 at Los Angeles home

Musician and onetime Bay Area resident Luis Vasquez -- who was the principle creative force behind post-punk/darkwave project the Soft Moon -- died in Los Angeles early Friday at age 44, according to the LA County coroner.

The news emerged early Friday morning with a post on the Soft Moon's official social media accounts. No cause of death was given in the statement.

"It is with great sadness that we announce our dear friend, Luis Vasquez has passed away. Our hearts and thoughts are with his family, friends and extended music family," the statement posted to the Soft Moon Facebook page read. We ask to respect their privacy during this difficult time…This is a huge loss and our hearts are broken."  

According to the Los Angeles County coroner, Vasquez's death is related to two other deaths at a private residence. Those other two individuals were identified by the coroner as 46-year-old John "Juan" Mendez -- a noted Los Angeles techno DJ also who recorded under the name Silent Servant, whose death was confirmed by his management, according to reports -- and 43-year-old Simone Ling, who was reportedly Mendez's partner. The coroner did not confirm the cause of death.

The Soft Moon - The Soft Moon (Full Album) by agriokuparissi on YouTube

Started by Vasquez when he was living in the Bay Area and playing with noted local neo-psych band Lumerians, the Soft Moon was a home-recording project that evolved into a popular post-punk/darkwave project. Originally intended only for Vasquez and a few friends, the music the multi-instrumentalist made as the Soft Moon would reach a global audience with the bleak, hypnotic sounds of the act's self-titled 2010 debut, establishing a fan base that grew with each subsequent release.  

The Soft Moon would tour widely, providing support for such notable acts as Mogwai, Interpol and Depeche Mode. The project released five albums for labels Captured Tracks and Sacred Bones, with the latter imprint releasing the sole recording Vasquez released under his own name -- A Body of Errors -- in 2021. Vasquez lived in Oakland until 2013 before relocating to a town outside Venice in Italy to record his third album Deeper with producer Maurizio Baggio. He later lived in Berlin, but also kept a home in Los Angeles. Last year, the Soft Moon was a featured performer at the Roadburn Festival in the Netherlands and played the Cruel World Festival in Pasadena.

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