Alan Rankine, co-founder of Scottish act The Associates, has died aged 64.

The guitarist and keyboard player in the band formed witH Billy Mackenzie passed away peacefully at home shortly after spending Christmas with his family, according to a statement from his sons Callum and Hamish posted on social media.

“He was a beautiful, kind and loving man who will be sorely missed,” they added.

Rankine will be best remembered as one half of The Associates, who had a trio of hit singles in 1982 – ‘Club Country’, ’18 Carat Love Affair’, and the UK Top 10 single ‘Party Fears Two’, as well as the chart album ‘Sulk’.

Rankine left the band in 1982 and went on to an acclaimed solo career which included three long-players for the Belgian, Factory Records-related imprint Les Disques du Crépuscule.

He also became a producer, working with artists including as Paul Haig, Cocteau Twins, and The Pale Fountains, before becoming involved with the forming of Electric Honey, the record label run by music business students at Glasgow’s Stow College.

The label would launch the career of Belle and Sebastian and Biffy Clyro, as well as putting out the debut album from Belle and Sebastian, ‘Tigermilk’. The band’s drummer Richard Colburn described Rankine as the “heart and soul of the course.”