Alan Rankine, founding member, guitarist and keyboardist of Scottish band The Associates, has died aged 64. This was announced on Tuesday (January 3) by his sons Callum and Hamish. The cause of death is still unknown.

    Rankine co-founded the Associates with singer Billy Mackenzie in the late 1970s, which released three albums before he left in 1982: The Affectionate Punch (1980), the compilation single Fourth Drawer Down (1981), and Sulk. (1982). Rankine then became a producer and worked on albums by the Cocteau Twins, among other things, before he started his solo career in 1986. He later taught at Stow College in Glasgow and helped the students at the time to set up the Electric Honey label, whose productions launched the careers of Biffy Clyro, Belle & Sebastian and Snow Patrol, among others. In 1990 the Associates finally disbanded.

    So far no information on the cause of death

    “He died peacefully at home shortly after spending Christmas with his family,” the sons said in a statement on Facebook. “He was a wonderful, kind and loving person who will be sorely missed.”

    The family continued: “The Facebook community has always meant a lot to our father. So we think it would be nice to continue to maintain his account. We invite you to celebrate his life on this page.” Only people who are friends with Rankine on Facebook can see the post.

    Family and friends mourn the deceased

    Many people have shared their condolences on social media, including Duglas T. Stewart. The BMX Bandits singer tweeted: “Very sad news that Alan Rankine passed away today. I found out about Alan through The Associates and later got to know him a little. Love to his family and everyone who loved him.”

    Scottish journalist John Dingwall posted: “I am deeply saddened to learn that my dear friend Alan Rankine of The Associates has passed away. We lived just around the corner and had arranged to meet for a coffee. RIP Alan Rankine, a wonderful soul. And my condolences to his entire family.”

    Listen to The Associates and Alan Rankine’s latest collaborative effort, Sulk, here: