Jaki Liebezeit, drummer and founding member of krautrock pioneers Can, dies aged 78

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.