DJ Robert Miles, best known for his trance hit Children, has died at the age of 47 after a short illness. The Italian musician topped the charts in 12 countries with the track, which was first released in and reached number two in the UK in Miles's radio station OpenLab confirmed he died "after a courageous battle with stage four metastatic cancer". RIP, thanks for the music. Singer Boy George wrote : "R. P Robert Miles. Very sad news!
'Thanks for the inspiration'
DJ Robert Miles has died at the age of The track that defined his career, Children, was one of the biggest-selling instrumentals in Europe and inspired a whole new genre. But Miles had an unusual motivation for it - helping to tackle "Saturday night slaughter" on Italy's roads. It launched a new genre - "dream house" - and although that did not last long, the more melancholy, cerebral sound opened the door for trance music, which would come to dominate clubs in the late s, going fully mainstream into the new millennium. Although Children was initially written in response to images of the child victims of the Balkans war as Yugoslavia tore itself apart, the track then took on a different life - and a different motivation. Miles wanted to make it big to help save the lives of clubbers. The sound of Europe's clubs in the mids - in particular in Italy, where Miles lived - was amped-up tracks and hard beats. But the high this music induced in clubbers - plus any substances they may have taken to enhance their experience - meant that when the night was over, they were still feeling the full effects of drugs and adrenaline. This was blamed for a rise in car crashes at the weekends.
Car crash danger
Berry worked with Vannelli and James Barton of Liverpool's Cream nightclub to release the song in November as the lead single from his album Dreamland. Miles gave two inspirations for the writing of "Children". One was as a response to photographs of child Yugoslav war victims that his father had brought home from a humanitarian mission in the former Yugoslavia ;  and the other, inspired by his career as a DJ , was to create a track to end DJ sets , intended to calm rave attendants prior to their driving home as a means to reduce car accident deaths. The creation of dream house was a response to social pressures in Italy during the early s: the growth of rave culture among young adults, and the ensuing popularity of nightclub attendance, had created a weekly trend of deaths due to car accidents as clubbers drove across the country overnight, falling asleep at the wheel from strenuous dancing as well as alcohol and drug use. In mid, deaths due to this phenomenon, called strage del sabato sera Saturday night slaughter in Italy, were being estimated at around since the start of the decade. The move by DJs such as Miles to play slower, calming music to conclude a night's set, as a means to counteract the fast-paced, repetitive tracks that preceded, was met with approval by authorities and parents of car crash victims.
Robert Miles was born in Fleurier , Switzerland. Miles became proficient at playing the piano during his youth in Friuli , Italy, in the small town of Fagagna , where his family moved when he was young, and had been in the music scene since He worked as a DJ in some Italian clubs and private radio networks and in , he used his savings to establish his own recording studio and a pirate radio station. In , Miles wrote a trance and chill-out piece based on acoustic guitar chords and soft synthesizer effects, " Children ", which was later developed into a dream house song featuring a piano theme on top. The single picked up sales slowly, but within two weeks of its official release in , it had sold more than , copies all over Europe and topped the charts in many countries. The single received an unprecedented "Essential Tune of The Week", three weeks in a row on Pete Tong 's show causing a furious bidding war. After occupying the Euro Top chart number 1 spot for thirteen consecutive weeks see European Hot Singles , by , "Children" had sold more than 5 million copies worldwide.