Brian Eno

Bassist/producer Holger Czukay of Can was one of the most influential musicians you may never have heard of

Bassist/producer Holger Czukay of Can was one of the most influential musicians you may never have heard of

The bassist and composer Holger Czukay, whose death at 79 was announced Tuesday, played a key role in the creation of post-punk — before the term punk itself even existed and while much of Western youth culture was playing hippy-fied variations on electric blues.

As co-founder of the influential German experimental rock band Can, starting in 1968 the man with the horseshoe mustache and restless creativity expanded the range and role of the electric bass in rock music. Along with percussionist Jaki Liebezeit, Czukay was half of one of the most influential non-Beatles rhythm sections in rock music.

Music from the band’s albums, including “Monster Movie” (1969), “Ege Bamyasi”...