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Holger Czukay (born Holger Sch√ľring on 24 March 1938) is a German musician, probably best known as a co-founder of the krautrock group Can.


Czukay was born in the Free City of Danzigmarker (now GdaŇĄskmarker). He studied music under Karlheinz Stockhausen from 1963 to 1966 and then worked for a while as a music teacher. Initially Czukay had little interest in rock music, but this changed when a student played him The Beatles' 1967 song "I Am the Walrus".. This opened his ears to music by rock experimentalists, such as the Velvet Underground and Frank Zappa.

Czukay co-founded Can in 1968. He played bass guitar and performed most of the recording and engineering for the group. Rosko Gee, former bassist of the British band, Traffic joined the band in 1977, with Czukay handling only tapes and sound effects on Saw Delight, his final LP with the group before departing for a solo career.

After his departure from Can, Czukay recorded several albums. One of his trademarks was the use of shortwave radio sounds and his early pioneering of sampling", in those days involving the painstaking cutting and splicing of magnetic tapes. He would tape-record various sounds and snippets from shortwave and incorporate them into his compositions. He also used shortwave as a live, interactive musical instrument (such as on 1991's Radio Wave Surfer), a method of composition he termed radio painting.

Czukay has collaborated with a considerable number of musicians, notably a series of albums with Jah Wobble and David Sylvian, two younger British musicians who shared his interest in blending pop music with experimental recording and sampling techniques. Other collaborators include U.N.K.L.E, Brian Eno, Eurythmics, and the German New Wave band, Triomarker.



  • Canaxis (1969)
  • Movies (1979)
  • Biomutanten / Menetekel (as Les Vampyrettes with Conny Plank) (1981)
  • On the Way to the Peak of Normal (1981)
  • Full Circle (1982) with Jah Wobble and Jaki Liebezeit
  • Snake Charmer (1983) with Jah Wobble, The Edge, and Ben Mandelson
  • Der Osten Ist Rot (1984)
  • Rome Remains Rome (1987)
  • Plight and Premonition (1988) with David Sylvian
  • Flux and Mutability (1989) with David Sylvian
  • Radio Wave Surfer (1991) (recorded live in 1984, 1986 & 1987)
  • Moving Pictures (1993)
  • Clash (1998) with Dr. Walker
  • Good Morning Story (1999)
  • La Luna (2000, remastered and expanded 2007)
  • Linear City (2001) audio collaborations with Susanne Drescher, Per Odderskove, Ray Darr, Darren B. Dunn, Marc Uzan, Ola Norlander, Haki, U-She, Drew Kalapach, Michael Letourneau, Alan Evil from IFPR, Luca Kormentini, Andrew Paine (Boomboy), The Weeds of Eden, Michael Banabila, Dreamfluid, Beatsystem, Noiseman433, Dane Johnson, James Webb, Panoptic, 1605 Munro, Tom Hamlyn
  • The New Millennium (2003) with U-She
  • Time and Tide (2007) with U-She
  • 21st Century (2007) with Ursa Major

With Can:

External links


  1. Hans Hoff, "Die anarchische Methode: Musiklegende Holger Czukay", S√ľddeutsche Zeitung (22 March 2008).
  2. Biography at Spoon Records
  3. can - publications
  4. Variations - an online radio series on the history of sampling curated by Jon Leidecker for Ràdio Web MACBA

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