Obits — May 6, 2020 at 11:30 pm

Florian Schneider, Kraftwerk co-founder and electronic-music giant, dead at 73

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.




















  1. Now is NOT the time on Sprockets when we dance.


  2. In 2005 I had the awesome great fortune of seeing Kraftwerk live and up close at the 930 Club in Washington, DC. I got to look on each of their faces–Florian’s included–while their music pulsated and filled the venue. A spectacularly unforgettable experience! Thank you for the music, Florian. Thank you, gents.


  3. Greatness – true pioneers indeed!

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