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Jaki Liebezeit


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Jaki Liebezeit (born 1939) is a drummer probably best known as a founding member of Can, who has been called “one of the few drummers to convincingly meld the funky and the cerebral”.

In the mid-1960s, he was part of Manfred Schoof’s quintet, who were early exponents of European free jazz.

He subsequently moved towards the new possibilities being opened by psychedelic music as a member of Can. His drumming was prominent in the band’s sound, particularly in his much-admired contribution to the side-long “Halleluhwah” on Tago Mago. Liebezeit is best known for his exceptional ‘metronome’ style of playing; other members of Can have suggested that he sounds as though he is “half man, half machine”.

In 1980, he became a member of Phantomband, and has formed drum ensembles such as Drums off Chaos and Club off Chaos. Later he recorded with numerous musicians, such as Jah Wobble and has contributed drums and/or percussion to many albums as a guest throughout the years, such as the Depeche Mode album, Ultra, and the Brian Eno album Before and after Science. Recently, he has worked with Burnt Friedman on the Secret Rhythms albums.Wobble famously described him as, “Probably, if not the, or perhaps certainly the, or maybe even the very, very, certainly brilliant and in every way excellent…” at this moment he paused for effect, before continuing, “perhaps the, not only with the possibility that, he is an extremely, very excellent, marvellous, superlatively strong and exceptionally maybe excellent and gifted drummer.


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