Electronic Music Pioneer & Kraftwerk Co-Founder Florian Schneider Dies
Hülzer/ullstein bild via Getty Images – Florian Schneider, co-founder of Kraftwerk
At the Synthesizer on Nov. 11, 1998.
Florian Schneider, co-founder of German electronic music icons Kraftwerk, passed away at the age of 73.
German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported that Sony Music Germany in Berlin confirmed Schneider’s passing on May 6, referencing Kraftwerk co-founder Ralf Hütter.
Schneider and Hütter started making music together in 1968, their first band project was called Organisation. Kraftwerk was launched in 1970, alongside the famous Klang Klang Studio in Düsseldorf.
They developed into electronic music icons, and influenced the sound of many legends of the game, including Detroit techno pioneer Juan Atkins, who once said: “Kraftwerk definitely influenced my sound, because when I heard their music I automatically knew I had to tighten up what I was doing (…). I can say for sure that they put Germany on the map for me. When I was a kid in school in America, the only thing we learned about Germany was World War II.”
The band celebrated its international breakthrough with its 1974 album Autobahn, which reached number five in the U.S. and number four in the UK charts, outperforming its chart performance in Germany.
Subsequent albums failed to replicated the commercial success in the States, however, the band toured the country several times very successfully.
Schneider left the band in 2008, he was involved in all of the band’s most talked-about albums, including Radio-Aktivität (1975), Trans Europa Express (1977), Die Mensch-Maschine (1978) and Tour De France (2003).
Kraftwerk, which performed in various four-piece lineups over the years, had plans to tour the states in 2020, which got cancelled for obvious reasons.
The band would have performed at several of the venues it had played on its previous visit to the U.S. in 2016, including Dallas’ Bomb Factory, where the band sold 2,765 tickets and grossed $140,963 on Sept. 10, 2016, and Atlanta’s Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center, where it moved 2,297 tickets and grossed $132,955 at a sold-out show that same month, according to Pollstar Boxoffice reports.