Kraftwerk founding member Florian Schneider dies at 73

The German quartet became one of the most influential electronic band and went on to set the template for synth music in the 1970s and 80s


                            Kraftwerk founding member Florian Schneider dies at 73
Florian Schneider (Getty Images)

Florian Schneider, one of the founders of the critically-acclaimed electronic pop group Kraftwerk, has died at 73.

He "passed away from a short cancer disease just a few days after his 73rd birthday", a statement said.

The German quartet became one of the most influential electronic unit and went on to set the template for synth music in the 1970s and 80s, releasing several hits such as 'Autobahn' and 'The Model', the BBC reports.

Kraftwerk inspired scores of artists across the globe and across multiple genres ranging from techno to hip-hop. The group was formed in 1970 after Schneider joined Ralf Hütter and remained a member until 2008, after which he moved on to pursue his own music.

Kraftwerk achieved commercial success as well as musical innovation, inspiring a string of legends such as Depeche Mode, New Order, Daft Punk, and David Bowie, who even named the track "V-2 Schneider" on his "Heroes" album after Schneider.

Even new age artists like Coldplay were inspired by the group, incorporating a section from the track "Computer Love" in their hit song "Talk". Meanwhile, Dr. Dre and Jay-Z sampled "Trans Europe Express" for their number "Under Pressure".

While the United States and United Kingdom have been considered as the crucibles of pop music, Kraftwerk put Dusseldorf on the map.

The band's allegiance to what they called "robot pop" in the mid-70s set the template for several genres, right from hip-hop to house music to techno. In fact, Kraftwerk was even dubbed "the electronic Beatles" in some circles.

While electronic music had existed before, this revolutionary German band developed "new musical vocabulary, sculpting hypnotic, low-frequency sounds that celebrated Europe's romantic past, and looked forward to its shimmering future," according to BBC.

Music critic Garry Mulholland wrote how the quarter connected "the coldness of circuitry and the warmth of the soul" with albums like "Trans-Europe Express" and "Man Machine", thereby "reminding us that machines are, after all, the product of the dreams of humans."

"They started it all," Pet Shop Boys' Chris Lowe noted back in 1990.

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