One of the founding members of a group that laid substantial groundwork for electronic music has passed away. Kraftwerk‘s Florian Schneider has died of cancer at the age of 73.
Kraftwerk co-founder Ralf Hütter broke the news to the general public. In a statement obtained by Billboard, he shared “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.” Only days before, the band had called off their 50th anniversary tour.
Remembering Florian Schneider
Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider started Kraftwerk in 1970. Perhaps best known for their 1974 single, “Autobahn,” the band’s impact on electronic music and beyond cannot be overstated. They were among the first pop culture acts to incorporate synthesizers into their performances, and their futuristic brand of krautrock directly influenced rock, electro, hip-hop and techno. Hütter is the only member of the quartet’s original lineup who continues to perform and record music with them.
Schneider was as much a technological innovator as he was a musician. According to Pitchfork he and Hütter filed patents for a drum kit as well as the Robovox vocoder, both of which became hallmarks of the band’s sound. “Thank you all ladies and gentlemen for listening to my compositions,” reads a post to his Facebook page made on Tuesday. “I am grateful to you.”
Florian Schneider was laid to rest in a private burial according to The Guardian.