R.I.P. Jaki Liebezeit

Jaki Liebezeit, drummer and founding member of Krautrock pioneers Can, has died. The band confirmed the news on their official Facebook page, writing, “It is with great sadness we have to announce that Jaki passed away this morning from sudden pneumonia. He fell asleep peacefully, surrounded by his loved ones. We will miss him hugely.” He was 78.

Liebezeit was born in Dresden, Germany in 1939. In 1968, after playing in a number of European free jazz groups, he formed Can with Irmin Schmidt, Holger Czukay, Michael Karoli, and David C. Johnson, who soon departed. His tight, metronomic drumming soon became an essential part of their sound.

In addition to his work with Can, Liebezeit also collaborated with Brian Eno, Neu!’s Michael Rother, Depeche Mode, Eurythmics, and Jah Wobble, and he formed the drum ensembles Drums Off Chaos and Club Off Chaos. He was set to reunite with Can’s Irmin Schmidt and Malcolm Mooney in April for a one-off 50th anniversary show.