DJing since the mid-70s, he was best known for The Heartists' 1997 hit 'Belo Horizonti'
Italian house legend Claudo Coccoluto has died at the age of 58, after a year-long but unspecified “serious illness”.
Born on 17 August 1962 in the Italian coastal resort of Gaeta, Coccoluto span his first DJ sets in his father's electrical goods store at the age of just 13. Establishing himself as a fixture in the region's clubs as soon as he was old enough, he would go on to become a stalwart of the Italian house scene since its earliest days, helping to put the country well and truly on the house map from the late 80s onwards.
Although best known as a DJ rather than a producer, Coccoluto did achieve one international hit with his own music when, in 1997, he teamed up with fellow Italian DJ/producer Savino Martinez as The Heartists to record Belo Horizonti, which was signed by Basement Jaxx to their Atlantic Jaxx label, and then later licensed to Virgin.
Coccoluto also ran the Italian record label The Dub, set up Rome nightclub Goa and in the mid-90s became the first international DJ ever booked to play at New York's notorious Sound Factory.
As well as his DJ and production career, Coccoluto was a respected writer and journalist, and in 2006 he also stood as a parliamentary candidate for Italy's centre-left Rosa Del Pugno party.