It has been a devastating year for a whole generation of music luminaries – musicians and sound-makers that stood outside the canons of pop and rock… they re-invented the rules, largely because their visions were bigger than those rules. I thus pay my respects to Peter Principle, Walter Becker, Jaki Liebezeit… and now Holger Czukay.
I find it hard to imagine a bigger loss for the generation of post-WW2 avant-rockers than the passing of Holger Czukay. A former student of Stockhausen, he migrated and expanded his premises to territories of popular music that could have otherwise remained tied to reductive formulas. The whole of post-rock is indebted to Holger Czukay’s groundbreaking experiments, and even more so as far as World Music, post-punk, Eno and the whole art of sampling.
Holger was tuning into short-wave radio onstage, and reverting what came up on the ether into the live music… in the early seventies. Younger generations need to know this went on, and how radical this was, even by the already out-there “krautrock” standards. In a way, his was the gift of surgical precision among the mayhem.
Holger Czukay’s legacy is immense… he will be hugely missed.