Can’s Holger Czukay dead at 79

Can, with Holger Czukay, 2nd right
Can, with Holger Czukay, 2nd right

Can’s Holger Czukay has died at the age of 79, according to Cologne newspaper Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger.

Reports indicate that he was found in an apartment in Weilerswist, Germany – the same building that once served as the group’s Inner Space Studio.

Construction workers who were on-site hadn’t seen Czukay for several days and informed a neighbour, who discovered the multi-instrumentalist’s body.

No cause of death has been revealed.

Czukay studied music under German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen in the mid-60s before co-founding Can in 1968 with keyboardist Irmin Schmidt, guitarist Michael Karoli and drummer Jaki Liebezeit.

Along with playing bass on the band’s first eight albums, Czukay recorded and engineered most of the band’s records, leaving Can in 1977 after providing experimental tape and sound effects on that year’s Saw Delight album.

Czukay went on to record several solo albums where he pioneered sampling methods, splicing tape and recording shortwave radio sounds which he would then weave into his music – a method he called ‘radio painting’.

During his career, Czukay also collaborated with a number of artists, including David Sylvian, Brian Eno, Jah Wobble and Eurythmics.

He released his last solo album Eleven Years Interspace in 2015.

Can bandmate Liebezeit died in January this year at the age of 78, while Czukay’s wife Ursula passed away in July this year on her 55th birthday.

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Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent 35 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott keeps Louder’s buyer’s guides up to date, writes about the best deals for music fans, keeps on top of the latest tech releases and reviews headphones, speakers, earplugs and more. Over the last 10 years, Scott has written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog. He's previously written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald newspapers, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to tech reviews, video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.