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.

Can - The Singles album review