Kraftwerk co-founder Florian Schneider has died age 73

Schneider formed the legendary experimental music group with Ralf Hutter in 1970

Kraftwerk’s co-founder Florian Schneider has died at the age of 73.

The news broke after British musician Mark Reeder shared a now-deleted tribute post, which read: “Goodbye Florian, you made an indelible impact upon my life, may the neon lights shine bright for you.” Producer Robert Goerl, from DAF, another influential German electronic group, also posted on Facebook: “Oh no, Florian Schneider, have a good trip.”

“Kraftwerk co-founder and electro pioneer Ralf Hütter has sent us 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,” the band said in a statement.

“In the year 1968 Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider started their artistic and musical collaboration. In 1970 they founded their electronic Kling Klang studio in Düsseldorf and started the multi-media project Kraftwerk. All the Kraftwerk catalogue albums were conceived and produced there.”

Schneider formed the legendary experimental music group Kraftwerk (German for ‘power station’) with Ralf Hutter in 1970 after the pair met at the Dusseldorf conservatory. He’s known for designing his own rhythm machines and synthesisers, and is widely credited for pioneering electronic music. David Bowie, who was heavily inspired by Kraftwerk, named a song on Heroes after Schneider, “V-2 Schneider”.

The group’s first albums were Kraftwerk in 1970, Kraftwerk 2 in 1972, and Ralf und Florian the following year. Their mind-bending live shows were recognised for their arresting visuals and technological innovation.

Schneider played the synthesiser, vocoder, flute, and sax, among other instruments, also providing vocals for the band. He left the group in 2008 after nearly four decades.