Florian Schneider, co-founder of electronic music pioneers Kraftwerk, dead at 73

  • Music
  • Thursday, 07 May 2020

Filepic of the four members of German band Kraftwerk perform in Skopje, on 16 June 2005. Photo: AFP

Florian Schneider – co-founder of German electronic-music pioneers Kraftwerk, one of the most influential music groups of the past 50 years – has died, a rep for the group confirms to Variety. He was 73.

"Florian Schneider has passed away from a short cancer disease just a few days after his 73rd birthday," a statement from the group reads.

"In the year 1968 Ralf Hutter and Florian Schneider started their artistic and musical collaboration. In 1970 they founded their electronic Kling Klang studio in Dusseldorf (Germany) and started the multi-media project Kraftwerk. All the Kraftwerk catalogue albums were conceived and produced there. In 2014 Hutter and Schneider were honoured with the Grammy Lifetime Achievement award."

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While Kraftwerk were recognised during their 1970s creative peak as an influential and pioneering outfit – particularly by David Bowie, who played the group's Radioactivity album before his 1976 concerts and even wrote a tribute to the musician called "V2 Schneider" – their influence grew more and more apparent as synthesisers and other electronic instruments became prominent in popular music, particularly with the MTV-powered synth-pop wave of the early 1980s, driven by groups such as Depeche Mode and the Human League.

Throughout the 1970s, Kraftwerk increasingly embraced the mechanical sounds of much of their music and cultivated a tongue-in-cheek image of themselves as identical robots that has been often imitated, particularly by Daft Punk, perhaps the most obvious recent musical progeny.

Schneider, a native of Dusseldorf, cofounded the group with Ralf Hutter in 1970, and the two remained its primary creative directors for its peak creative years. – Reuters

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Obituary , Kraftwerk


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