The cult artist passes away suddenly at 53...

CAN guitarist MICHAEL KAROLI has died "unexpectedly" at the age of 53.

The cause of Karoli's death is currently unclear, but a letter written by former band member Holger Czukay on his official website,, states that he died in Essen, Germany, on the morning of November 17, "playing on his favourite instrument".

He wrote: "Can guitarist Michael Karoli died unexpectedly this morning in his home while playing on his favourite instrument. In the last weeks we often had telephoned together in which he expressed how lucky he felt that our ways were crossing when he still was at school."

Czukay said they had spoken in recent months to discuss a video interview project, which would deal with the history of the pair.

He continued: "Last time we worked intensively together was on Can's 'Rite Time' album from 1987 till 89 which we both produced. About a month ago we phoned each other to arrange a video interview date where we wanted to go through our common history. He suggested to wait a bit longer as it would appear to him speaking out his final testament. Thinking of his young children he tried to avoid this thought as they strongly needed the father. This afternoon I tried to confirm a date, a few hours too late. Michael was the most intelligent guy of us all to say the least."

Karoli was born in April 1948, and alongside guitar, performed vocals and violins for the German group who are a noted influence on the likes of Radiohead, Massive Attack and Public Image Limited, as well as almost all experimental bands over the last 20 years.

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