Last week, one of east coast bass music’s shining lights went out with the passing of Hulk member Alan “Claw” Letko at age 29. He died at his family’s home in Saratoga Springs, NY, but few details, outside of his death not involving any foul play, have been made public. With the duo Hulk, alongside Richie August, Letko mixed all manner of deep and dark sounds—dubstep, trap, hip-hop, drum & bass—into a melange all his own, and he was an integral part of the BroTown Records crew. The pair also released music on Rottun, Demon Dub, and numerous other labels.
“We formed Hulk in late 2009 and that began a wild and amazing journey,” said August. “It was a roller-coaster ride at times, and though we did not always agree on everything, I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. We lost a friend, a brother, and a comrade. This loss impacts us all, not just the dubstep scene, but the entire global EDM scene. Throughout his life, Claw had the pleasure of connecting with countless people from all over the planet. The life of the party, the first one to crack a joke. He will be missed dearly and his legacy will live on forever through his music and the people whose hearts he touched over the years. RIP Joseph Alan Letko (Claw, Trillbass, Hulk).”
“We lost a driving force in the bass-music scene,” said Chris Limoli (aka Evac Protocol), co-owner of BroTown Records. “Alan was a pioneer in the early days of US drum & bass and dubstep, and his influence on the music, as well as the people, has been more than apparent. With his passing I have lost my best friend, my largest inspiration, my business partner, and my partner in crime. I love and miss him so very much. Rest in peace, BRO! It’s amazing how close we all are in this thing. Alan touched so many people in his life, and so many of you were very special to him. He had such a big heart, and always found ways to be there in times of need. He would be so proud of everyone coming together in this tough time!”
Jorge Brea, of Symphonic Distribution, the label’s distributor, said, “It was a true honor to have worked with Alan throughout the years. Alan was a consummate professional and always willing to do whatever it took for other artists and record labels in the community. We will miss speaking with him and will always be able to remember him through his great music that will continue to influence new and established artists all over the world. Everyone at Symphonic sends sincere deep condolences to his family, friends, and loyal fans—and we will never forget.”