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RIP Kraftwerk's Florian Schneider
Christian Eede , May 6th, 2020 15:40

One of the group's founding members, Schneider was aged 73

Florian Schneider, one of the founding members of Kraftwerk, has died, aged 73.

An initial French media report said that Schneider's family had confirmed news of the passing, while a further report by The Guardian said that one of Schneider's musical collaborators confirmed that he passed away a week ago having had cancer, and was given a private burial. Sony Berlin also confirmed news of his death.

Florian Schneider founded Kraftwerk with Ralf Hütter in 1970, having met two years earlier while studying at the Academy of Arts in Remscheid. He had previously formed part of the groups Organisation and Pissoff in the 1960s.

Initially taking the flute as his main instrument, which he applied various electronic effects to, Schneider's use of acoustic instruments dwindled following the release of Kraftwerk's fourth album, Autobahn, in 1974. That album marked Kraftwerk's expansion from a duo to a quartet, with Wolfgang Flür and Karl Bartos joining the project.

Kraftwerk's influence has been felt heavily across numerous genres and scenes over the last five decades, forming the blueprint for much of the electronic music and early hip-hop that followed in the 1980s. Their sound also heavily informed David Bowie's late '70s 'Berlin period' with the Heroes album track 'V-2 Schneider' having been named after Schneider.

Schneider released 10 studio albums as part of Kraftwerk and officially left the band in November 2008. His final live appearance as part of the group was in Spain in November 2006, having not partaken in their 2008 world tour. Hütter has continued to tour as Kraftwerk in the years since.