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RIP Kraftwerk founder Florian Schneider

Florian Schneider, who co-founded the uber-influential Kraftwerk with Ralf Hutter in 1970, has died at the age of 73. His death apparently came a week ago. Cancer. There was a private service and burial.

Although still not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame–a travesty, if you ask me–Kraftwerk is one of the most influential bands of the last fifty years. They were among the first all-synth bands, laying the groundwork for everything from techno-pop to techno, from industrial to EDM, from hip-hop to today’s pop and beyond. Every band that uses a synth, drum machine, sampler, or digital audio devices owes something to Kraftwerk.

Working out of Kling Klang, the group’s studios in Dusseldorf, Kraftwerk meticulously built ever album, often constructing their own electronic devices when what they needed hadn’t been invented yet.

Schneider played synth, vocoder, and a variety of wind instruments. He was also the band’s most frequent lead vocalist.

Kraftwerk was supposed to go on the road this year with a 50th anniversary tour. Those shows were canceled because of the pandemic. Schneider suddenly left the band in 2008, so he wouldn’t have been part of that tour. But still…

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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