To fame with Krautrock
Former Can singer Damo Suzuki is dead
February 12, 2024, 3:47 p.m
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When the Cologne group Can entered the music circuit in 1968, their avant-garde sound could not really be attributed to any known genre. However, the fact that the label “Krautrock” is attached to them does not harm their reputation. For a while, the Japanese Damo Suzuki was their singer, who has now died at the age of 74.
Many music enthusiasts still click their tongues at the name Can. Ultimately, the group created a very idiosyncratic sound when they became known beyond the borders of their hometown of Cologne after their formation in 1968. Can’s music fluctuates between jazz, funk and psychedelic rock – and was soon given the label “Krautrock”.
Not exactly a flattering term at first. Ultimately, it was invented in English-speaking countries to label experimental music from Germany, based on the term “Krauts” for German soldiers in the Second World War. But later it developed into a complete genre, whose representatives included bands like Amon Düül, Birth Control and Kraan.
When Can was founded, the American Malcolm Mooney appeared as a singer. However, when he left the group in 1970, the Japanese street musician Damo Suzuki took over his role. With him, among other things, the Can album “Tago Mago” was created in 1971, which is considered the group’s standard work. But Suzuki also left Can in 1973 to initially disappear into musical obscurity. It was not until the mid-1980s that he appeared again as a temporary member of the band Dunkelziffer and with his own projects.
“Limitless creative energy”
As was announced on Can’s Instagram page, Suzuki died on Friday at the age of 74. No information was given about the cause of death. However, the musician is said to have struggled with cancer several times in the past.
Suzuki’s “boundless creative energy” has touched many people around the world, the group said in a statement. And further: “Damo’s good soul and his mischievous smile will be missed forever.”
Suzuki is not the first former Can member to die. The former Can musicians Jaki Liebezeit, Holger Czukay, Michael Karoli, David C. Johnson and Reebop Kwaku Baah are also dead. Referring to the band members with whom Suzuki was once active in the group, it says on Instagram: ” He will now join Michael, Jaki and Holger for a fantastic jam.”