Holger Czukay (24 March 1938 – September 2017)

“Instant compositions” inspired by I Am The Walrus, Stockhausen, and Musique Concrete. The Velvet Underground, Frank Zappa, James Brown and Sly Stone. Improvised percussive jungles born of controlled chance, serial composition, and musical spatialisation. The German composer, Michael von Biel. The Magick of Aleister Crowley. “Ethnological Forgeries” conceived in communes. Ex-cinemas, “a castle with better equipment” and Inner Space. “Fake” field recordings of Gypsy caravan campfires and peyote rituals. Out on point in the bush of ghosts. Rock and Roll guitar and Classical piano. Violin, flugel horn, and Fuzzbox. Skanking Pop. Stoned Cosmic Blues. Strange. Rhythmic. Always groovy. Playing with reverb and speed. Tapping the lyrical subconscious.

Old Grey Whistle Tests. Issuing demands and taking over Top Of The Pops.

“Don`t care if I break a law. I want more and more and more.”

Voices united in positive mantras. Muscular and tribal. Spiralling and plain mad. Blissed out meditations. Whirling Free Jazz. Occult Funk invocations. 19th nervous breakdowns and sonic exorcisms. Hippie freakout hymns to The Universe and late night love songs. Flaunting imperfection. Throwing the I Ching. Six hour jams edited into journeys through the looking glass. From light to darkness and back again. Embodying Eno`s idea of the studio as an instrument. Sampling with tape and razor. Radio Painting. Re-contextualising Vietnamese boat calls, Persian serenades, and the Pope. Shortwaves, New Waves and Post-Punks. Speaking with shamen. Mixing military marching bands and Hawaiian pedal steel. Creating crazy Camp Sarcastic Disco. China Town Dubs. Dance floor fillers, and NYC Loft party anthems.

Let his legacy be heard in the influence of countless others who followed. Let him be remembered for helping bring the Avant-Garde into the mainstream. For actually selling hundreds of thousands of records. Let his legacy be a truly unique body of work.

“Music only like itself, like no-one before or after.”

Holger Czukay. RIP.

Holger Czukay 1


Can – Future Days

Holger Czukay – Persian Love

Can – Halleluwah

Jah Wobble, Holger Czukay, The Edge – Hold On To Your Dreams

Holger Czukay – Fragrance

Bison – Way To LA

Can – Vitamin C

Can – One More Night

Can – Dizzy Dizzy

David Sylvian – Weathered Wall

David Sylvian, Jon Hassell, Steve Jansen, Holger Czukay – Words With The Shamen

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