Damo Suzuki, the Japanese main singer of the highly inventive band Can, has died, according to a statement on the band’s social media pages. He had been battling colon cancer for a decade and died at the age of 74, although no cause of death was given.
Can was a key figure in the avant-garde and experimental group of German bands that emerged in the late 1960s after psychedelic music, informally categorized as “Krautrock” together with Kraftwerk, Neu, and other bands.
Can pursued a more organic and improvisatory course than the others, but even while the groups started off similar and even had some members in common, they soon split off into drastically different trajectories.
After the band’s 1969 debut album, “Monster Movie,” was released, founding singer Michael Mooney quit the group. That evening, Suzuki—who had traveled throughout Europe as a teenager after leaving Japan—was busking on a Munich street when Liebezeit and Czukay invited him to perform with the group.
His professional debut with the group was in 1970, and he contributed to some of its most well-known and significant albums, including “Soundtracks,” “Tago Mago,” “Ege Bamyasi,” and “Future Days.”
His free-form singing, impressionistic lyrics, and frequent invention of words blend in well with the group’s improvisations, which may go on for several minutes at a time; the entire performance of their 1970 hit song “Mother Sky” lasts for almost thirty minutes.