Can vocalist Damo Suzuki has passed away.
The musician had been diagnosed with colon cancer, and in 2014 was given a 10% chance of survival. Continuing to undergo treatment, news of Damo Suzuki’s death has been confirmed by multiple sources. He was 74 years old.
The Japanese born musician spent the late 60s busking around Europe, developing his unique vocal style in the process. Drawn into the orbit of German experimental group Can, his time with the band arguably represents their zenith.
Present for iconic, vastly influential works such as 1971’s ‘Tago Mago’, his intense, at times almost non-verbal style broke all boundaries, re-moulding the way a rock frontman could operate.
Exiting the group in 1973, Damo Suzuki was a colossal influence on the post-punk movement – not for nothing did The Fall’s Mark E Smith pen ‘I Am Damo Suzuki’.
Remaining a wandering spirit, his more recent work involved extensive touring, forming unique groups for each location. Dubbed Sound Carriers, these ad hoc ensembles would interpret his ideas, and then splinter, leaving Damo free to move forwards.
Writing and recording to the end, Damo Suzuki’s most recent album ‘Arkaoda’ was released in 2022.
English experimentalist Robin Rimbaud writes:
A sad farewell to Damo Suzuki (1950-2024), who between 1970 and 1973 led pioneering German band Can through its unquestionable peak, and pretty much lived on a never-ending world tour since then.
London based promoters Baba Yagas Hut worked with Damo Suzuki multiple times, recalling:
Sad to hear about Damo Suzuki passing away. Did a bunch of shows with him, even took him out for his 60th Birthday! Very memorable God Don’t Like It shows but then wouldn’t play for Baba Yaga’s “Because Baba Yaga is a Witch”
Rest in power.