​Pioneering krautrock singer Damo Suzuki has died aged 74

today12/02/2024 4

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Damo Suzuki, the pioneering krautrock singer and lead vocalist for German experimental rock group Can, has passed away aged 74.

Sazuki died on Friday, February 9, it was announced over the weekend. The news was confirmed by Can’s record label, Spoon Records.

“It is with great sadness that we have to announce the passing of our wonderful friend Damo Suzuki, yesterday, Friday 9th February 2024,” the label announced.

“His boundless creative energy has touched so many over the whole world, not just with Can, but also with his all continent-spanning Network Tour. Damo’s kind soul and cheeky smile will be forever missed.”

Suzuki’s cause of death was not confirmed. The late vocalist was diagnosed with colon cancer in 1984 and again 30 years later in 2014, beating both bouts despite being given a 10% chance of survival by doctors.

Born in Kobe, Japan, Suzuki made his way to Germany where he settled in Cologne in the 1960s. He was spotted busking in Munich by founding Can members Holger Czukay and Jaki Liebezeit and would go on to join the group.

His style fused English and Japanese lyrics while often adding some improvisation of his own, giving Can their own unique and influential sound.

Suzuki was part of Can during their formative years, thought to be a pioneering group for the emerging sound of krautrock in the ’60s and ‘70s. During their prime, Can released widely successful tracks including ‘Vitamin C’, and the groundbreaking double record ‘Tago Mago’.

Happy Mondays, David Bowie, and Talking Heads all cited Can as an influence for their music, deriving from genres including ambient, jungle, and trip hop. Brian Eno would even go on to create a short film documenting the group’s legacy.

“He will be joining Michael, Jaki and Holger for a fantastic jam! Lots of love to his family and children,” Spoon Records announced following Suzuki’s death. “We will post funeral arrangements at a later date.”

Read some tributes to the late Damo Suzuki below.

Gemma Ross is Mixmag’s Assistant Editor, follow her on Twitter

Written by: Tim Hopkins

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