Florian Shneider, founding member of the legendary German electro band, Kraftwerk, has died. He was 73 years old. This was confirmed by the other founding member of the band, Ralf Hütter. Hütter stated that Schneider died “from a short cancer disease just a few days after his 73rd birthday.” Cancer is the primary cause of his death.
Kraftwerk (translates to power station in German) is heavily attributed for giving birth to the origins of electronic music as it sounds today. The band inspired a host of artists to embrace electronically modified sounds and synthesizers. These included David Bowie, Depeche Mode, New Order and Daft Punk to name a few. Many of the these artists have openly admitted the band to be their primary inspiration. The legendary David Bowie’s track “V-2 Schneider”, a part of his 1977 album Heroes, was named after the German icon. Kraftwerk’s brilliance resulted in a massive wave of musical innovation coupled with commercially successful albums and tours.
Schneider founded the band in 1970 with Hütter. He mostly played the the flute, guitar, saxophone and synthesizer. These were mostly processed through electronic modifications to carve out that distinct Kraftwerk sound. Schneider left the group in 2008 following an intensive touring schedule and their final studio album till now, Tour De France Soundtracks in 2003. Schneider released an electronic track titled “Stop Plastic Pollution” alongside Dan Lacksman as part of the “Parley for the Oceans” campaign in 2015.
“I had studied seriously up to a certain level, then I found it boring; I looked for other things, I found that the flute was too limiting … Soon I bought a microphone, then loudspeakers, then an echo, then a synthesiser. Much later I threw the flute away; it was a sort of process.”
Florian Schneider in 1991
RIP Florian! Your contribution to the electronic music universe be unmatched.