Florian Schneider, co-founder of German electronic group Kraftwerk, has died. He was 73.
“Kraftwerk co-founder and electro pioneer Ralf Hütter has sent us the very sad news that his friend and companion over many decades. Florian Schneider has passed away from a short cancer disease just a few days after his 73rd birthday,” the band said in a statement via Rolling Stone.
The pioneer and legend gets thrown around too often, but Florian Schneider was just that. Florian Schneider co-founded Kraftwerk with Ralf Hütter in 1970, revolutionizing the way music was made, performed and perceived around the world.
Schneider eventually quit Kraftwerk in 2009, while Hütter continued to tour with Henning Schmitz, Fritz Hilpert and Falk Grieffenhagen. But in between, they became one of the biggest and most influential electronic groups in the world, helping to shape European pop music, West coast hip-hop, rock music and everything in between.
Kraftwerk’s influence was felt across the world almost immediately. While house and techno hold their roots to Chicago and Detroit respectively, Kraftwerk’s use of electronic instruments that included homemade and custom-built devices, helped pioneer what musicians thought was possible with their own music. This transcended into rock, where David Bowie named the track “V-2 Schneider" on his 1977 album Heroes after Schneider and helped to shape early 1980’s west coast rap with seminal artists like Egyptian Lover citing Kraftwerk as a main influence.
He is being remembered by his peers and people across music now getting the news.