Saturday, February 10, 2024

RIP Damo Suzuki

Not Damo-specific although he appears here and there, check out mash-up-ologist Tom Caruana's Can-tribute-via-loop-distillation release Inner Space - there's an instrumental version and then one (the primary one in fact) which uses these de facto Can breakbeats as a base for rappers to do their thing.

Jump to 40.09 for the Vit C meets MC merger (in this case Denmark Vessey)

"Vitamin C" is used in the first episode of Baz Luhrmann's early days of hip hop drama The Get Down - you see a graffiti-daubed subway train rattling along an overground / overhead track and the hypertense rhythm engine rattles and clicks along with it.  

Check out also Woebot aka Matthew Ingram's Damo-endorsed video "Vitamin C" which uses the tune as its intro and outro, but is also a lovely bit of edutainment on the subject of asorbic acid - its discovery and its properties.


  1. When I was a student, I went to a Damo Suzuki gig with the CD booklet to my copy of Tago Mago, but I was too nervous to ask him to sign it.

  2. I thought you might have the first comment, but I was sure you'd be saying something about Damo as proto-Shaun Ryder.

    "Halleluhwah" on Tago is uncannily proto-Mondays - were they nodding to the debt by doing their own song titled "Hallelujah"? (although it doesn't sound like Can)

  3. I'm not that predictable, am I?

    There is one crucial distinction between Damo and our Shaun: we Mondays sad-cases embark on the fool's errand of actually trying to find semantic coherence in Shaun Ryder's lyrics. Damo's language of the stone age seemed to preclude that, and one would just wallow in the beautiful gibberish.

    The Can-Mondays link is oft-cited and, if I recall rightly, Paul Ryder stated them as an influence (I'd have to double-check my sources). Possibly linked to New Order - Stephen Morris is always praising Tago Mago. But the impact Can had on the Mondays seems to me wholly sonic, not lyrical.

    That said, I remember Mark E. Smith championed Damo Sukuzi as a lyricist in the strict sense (and declared him one of the few heroes not to disappoint upon their meeting).

    The video to Oh Yeah has Can on stage jamming away whilst a juggler in a bow tie tosses around umbrellas and whatnot, like a Bez with actual talent. Has there been a more incongruous non-musical performer on stage with a band?

  4. Saw Damo S do a gig at The Garage mid nineties and ended up talking to Peter Christopherson and Balance who were in the crowd, which blew my then very young mind....


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