Best known as a founding member and the guitarist/violinist of German experimental rockers Can, Michael "Miki" Karoli got his start playing in jazz and dance bands in both Germany and Switzerland during the late '60s. By 1968 he had co-founded Can, who, along with such artists as Captain Beefheart and the Velvet Underground, blazed musical paths that were highly influential, yet too far ahead of their time to be fully appreciated during the era (David Bowie in particular admitted the influence of Can on his challenging late-'70s work). Despite being underappreciated, Can released a string of cult classic recordings, tops being their 1969 debut, Monster Movie, as well as such further releases as 1971's Tago Mago, 1972's Ege Bamyasi, 1973's Future Days, and 1974's Soon Over Babaluma.
In 1978, Karoli set up his own recording studio in a former olive oil mill in the French Maritime Alps, dubbed Outer Space Recording Studio, resulting in producing other groups and Karoli's own projects (such as the album Deluge with Polly Eltes, etc.). Karoli spent the remainder of the '80s recording and playing with others (in addition to studying African rhythms and dance with African drummer and dancer Seni Camara), as well as working on music for both film and theater (1995's Moving Pictures with Holger Czukay), before his passing at the age of 53 on November 17, 2001.