Florian Schneider, co-founder of the pioneering German act Kraftwerk and a pioneering force who helped shape decades of electronic music, pop and hip-hop, died last month of cancer, his former bandmates confirmed on Wednesday. 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,” which fell on April 7, the band said in a statement published by Rolling Stone.
“In the year 1968, Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider started their artistic and musical collaboration,” the statement continued. “In 1970, they founded their electronic Kling Klang studio in Düsseldorf and started the multi-media project Kraftwerk. All the Kraftwerk catalogue albums were conceived and produced there.”
The news of Schneider’s death drew an outpouring of tributes from fellow musicians from across the spectrum of genres influenced by Kraftwerk, with whom Schneider wrote, recorded and performed from the group’s founding in 1970 until he left in 2008.
“When I first heard their song ‘Autobahn,’ I was struck by how radically different it sounded from everything else on the radio. It became a surprise hit in the UK and sparked my lifelong admiration for their innovation and creativity,” Duran Duran’s Nick Rhodes wrote. “Kraftwerk’s influence on contemporary music is deeply woven into the fabric of our pop culture. Their albums ‘Trans-Europe Express’ and ‘The Man Machine’ will forever remain classics of the genre they invented.”
Read more tributes below — and hear some of Kraftwerk’s more influential music.
We are absolutely devastated to learn that one of our heroes Florian Schneider has passed away. pic.twitter.com/Y2dnYfxkj8
— Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (@OfficialOMD) May 6, 2020
Very saddened by the news of Florian Schneider´s passing. It was Florian who invited me to join Kraftwerk in early1971. He was a very inspiring musician and has left a big mark in the world of electronic music. My condolences go out to his loved ones. https://t.co/XFe7sw3LVU
— Michael Rother (@_MichaelRother_) May 6, 2020
The Future, The Human League, B.E.F. and Heaven 17 would never have existed without Florian Schneider and Kraftwerk
— martyn ware (@martynware) May 6, 2020
RIP Florian Schneider co founder of Kraftwerk. EVERY modern musician owes something to this mans vision. I was lucky enough to see him with Kraftwerk, with my son Gray some years ago. A magical experience.Thank you Florian.
— Lol Tolhurst (@LolTolhurst) May 6, 2020
RIP Florian Schneider. This is what true innovation sounds like. https://t.co/KrX7fmZ8RA
— Gary Numan (@numanofficial) May 6, 2020
— Duran Duran (@duranduran) May 6, 2020
RIP Florian Schneider. Thank you for the music. ❤️🙏
— Cosey Fanni Tutti (@coseyfannitutti) May 6, 2020
They Changed music forever.
RIP. Florian Schneider.
— Geoff Barrow (@jetfury) May 6, 2020
Rest In Peace Florian Schneider, co-founder of my favorite group Kraftwerk, who passed away at the age of 73. Thank you for all your creativity and the inspiration you and the other members of Kraftwerk have given me to become who I am today. There’s no me without you. #Kraftwerk pic.twitter.com/bNn9GLKo0y
— Egyptian Lover (@thegyptianlover) May 6, 2020
The mighty Florian Schneider has left this earth. 2020 is really just the worst thus far. #Kraftwerk
— Garbage (@garbage) May 6, 2020
Man we are losing the hugely influential great ones. Rest In Peace the great musician Florian Schneider. Sent a million musicians in a new direction (Bowie named a beautiful song after him for crying out loud!), had… https://t.co/t8bs70SXMr
— Flea (@flea333) May 6, 2020
Florian Schneider 1947 – 2020. Kraftwerk are the electronic Beatles. Their influence is immeasurable. It’s hard saying goodbye to these gifted people we grew up with and continue to enjoy. The music lives forever. I x pic.twitter.com/bjHPjry4Ol
— Ian McNabb (@empiresend) May 6, 2020
PREVIOUSLY ON SLICING UP EYEBALLS
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