Liebezeit was renowned for developing krautrock’s defining motorik sound.
Jaki Liebezeit, drummer and founding member of pioneering krautrock band Can, has died aged 78.
The band announced his death on Facebook, saying Liebezeit “passed away this morning (January 22) from sudden pneumonia.”
“He fell asleep peacefully, surrounded by his loved ones. We will miss him hugely,” wrote the band.
Born in Dresden in 1938, Liebezeit recorded with Can on all of their 12 studio albums, including Tago Mago, Ege Bamyasi and Future Days, and was instrumental in developing the motorik percussive style that came to define the genre.
Liebezeit was part of Manfred Schoof’s free jazz Quintet in the ‘60s and also a frequent collaborator throughout his career, working with the likes of Brian Eno, Michael Rother, Philip Jeck and Jah Wobble. He appeared on Brian Eno’s Before and After Science album in 1977, Depeche Mode’s Ultra in 1997 and contributed drums to Rother’s solo LPs in the late 70s.
Liebezeit was set to reunite with founding Can member Irmin Schmidt and original vocalist Malcolm Mooney for a special 50th anniversary show at London’s Barbican Hall in April billed as ‘The Can Project’.
A number of artists have paid tribute to Liebezeit on social media.
Really sad to hear that the world has lost Jaki Liebezeit. One of the greatest drummers of all time and a great guy. https://t.co/rmKaoVn6RL
— stuart braithwaite (@plasmatron) January 23, 2017
— Brian Eno (@dark_shark) January 22, 2017
— Andy VoteI (@AndyVotel) January 22, 2017
RIP- Jaki liebezeit
Who's playing had the biggest influence on me.
If I was only 10% the player you were I'd be happy. pic.twitter.com/0hfCsXakDy
— Geoff Barrow (@jetfury) January 22, 2017
Rip – Jaki liebezeit
Our condolences to the whole CAN family
— BEAK (@BeakBristol) January 22, 2017
Absolutely gutted to hear my dear friend Jaki Liebezeit has passed. Wonderful person and best European drummer. King of Saxony lebewohl!!!
— Jah Wobble (@realjahwobble) January 22, 2017
RIP Jaki Liebezeit, one of the world's greatest drummers. Thank you for all the amazing music.
— Unsound Festival (@unsound) January 23, 2017
Aw no, not Jaki :( massively influential for us – his drumming was just next level. Here's a beast of a solo: https://t.co/C9K9DbFxk2 RIP
— worriedaboutsatan (@teamsatan) January 22, 2017
The man knew rhythm. RIP Jaki. https://t.co/W0z78k8CzV
— lawrence english (@room40speaks) January 23, 2017
Very sad to read Jaki Liebezeit has left the earth. Rest in peace flow motion specialist…: https://t.co/DbwUMSwmfC
— The Bug(official) (@thebugzoo) January 23, 2017
Couldn't agree more. Very sad news about Jaki Liebezeit. Apart from Can he was drummer in the Manfred Schoof Quintet. Great free jazz. https://t.co/V2ic4G9xoi
— Leftfield (@Leftfield) January 23, 2017
— carl craig (@carlcraignet) January 23, 2017
RIP Jaki Liebezeit
infinite pulse, peerless jammer
you sounded like you had eight armshttps://t.co/M98lVSygZD
— Good Willsmith (@GoodWillsmith) January 23, 2017
— CEDRIC BIXLER ZAVALA (@cedricbixler_) January 22, 2017