Desperately sad news.
I was at secondary school in Loughborough (the one he hated) one year below Mark and remember him clearly. Many of us decorated our ruck sacks with our current music allegiances - his were The Fall and Bauhaus... as I didn't know any better (literally) mine were a number of neo-prog clowns... I think that meant I wasn't someone worth significant time (he was right) but he would say hello at least. I also remember his band covering a Joy Division song (Warsaw) at our school assembly. After I left school I got to know him a little via a mutual friend - enough to stop in the street and chat briefly, usually about our mutual appreciation of Nottingham Forest - and even then, in spite of my previous musical crimes, it was clear he was a lovely bloke. I didn't see him often or chat to him for very long when I did see him but I also worked at the local engineering firm (where I think Mark worked briefly as well) and got to know his father. After Mark left Loughborough to go to university his father would proudly keep me up to date with his accomplishments; I bought the D-Generation 12" from Mr. Fisher and he also gave me a copy of one of Mark's first professional published pieces - on Darkside for The New Statesmen if I remember correctly. I think the last time I saw Mark was either in the early nineties in Loughborough with his brother or at a Tackhead gig in Manchester around the same time.
I remember periodically looking for his name on the Internet in the late nineties/early noughties wondering what he was up to and being amazed and pleased when I finally realised that K-Punk was Mark. I remember devouring his blog, including his appreciation of David Peace and Red Riding, and his (surprising) repping for Dido as well as so many other different tangents. His blog was a portal to another world for me and although our music tastes didn't always overlap, when he wrote something about a band I liked such as Neubauten, it usually hit home. Since those early days I've continued to follow his work and buy his books and ended up here entirely because of him. It is over twenty five years since we last communicated - I thought a few times of emailing him an appreciation but of course like an idiot I never did - and I'm not a musician or a blogger/critic in any way but I will miss the thrill of reading one of his new articles and having the thoughts he inspired fizzing around my head. I was pleased to see his blog return in 2015 and worried that it had been so quiet since then.
Sorry if that was a bit self-indulgent but I am surprised how much his passing has affected me. My heart goes out to his family and friends and everyone who knew him or read his work. Rest in piece Mark.