[News] Former singer of Krautrock pioneers Can Damo Suzuki dead at 74

The iconic and celebrated former Can vocalist Damo Suzuki has died, aged 74. The news was reported this morning by Can‘s record label Spoon Records.

His boundless creative energy has touched so many over the whole world, not just with Can, but also with his all continents spanning Network Tour,” the label said. “Damo’s kind soul and cheeky smile will be forever missed. He will be joining Michael, Jaki and Holger for a fantastic jam!

Born in Japan in 1950, Suzuki was famously discovered busking in Munich in 1970 by Holger Czukay and Jakki Liebezeit of Can, who were watching from a nearby cafe, and subsequently asked to replace the recently departed Malcolm Mooney.

Suzuki remained with Can until 1973, arguably the German band’s most fruitful period, recording “Soundtracks” (1970) “Tago Mago” (1971), “Ege Bamyasi” (1972) and “Future Days” (1973), albums on which he developed his iconic, often improvised vocal style.

When he quit Can, Suzuki also left the music business, at one point even joining the Jehovah’s Witnesses, although he would later leave the organisation, and he returned to music in 1983 with the Damo Suzuki Network and toured prolifically. His most recent album “Arkaoda” was released in 2022.

Immortalised by UK Post-Punk’s The Fall on their 1985 album “This Nation’s Saving Grace” with “I Am Damo Suzuki,” he was also a frequent collaborator with other musicians. Suzuki also worked with Omar Rodriguez-Lopez from The Mars Volta and released “Live at the Windmill Brixton” with ‘Sound Carriers‘ in 2018 with young UK Prog trio Black Midi.

Tributes have been appearing on social media since the news broke. Tom Skinner, drummer with The Smile, said on X (Twitter), “Grateful that I got to share the stage with him a few years back. An unforgettable experience. What an incredible human being.

Kawabata Makoto of Japanese Rockers Acid Mothers Temple said “I could have so many great experiences on this planet! See you in next space!” while Brighton-based musician and writer Hattie Cooke recalled: “Meeting Damo Suzuki is one of my favourite stories. I went to his show but couldn’t see anything. At the end, I was at the bar and chatting away to some bloke about the gig and what he thought of it. Turned out I was talking to Damo. He was way too polite to inform me. RIP.”

Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *