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Indian E-music – The right mix of Indian Vibes… » Florian Schneider obituary


Florian Schneider obituary

Delivered... Adam Sweeting | Scene | Thu 7 May 2020 4:24 pm

Co-founder of the pioneering German electronic band Kraftwerk

As one of the chief architects of the electronic music pioneers Kraftwerk, Florian Schneider, who has died of cancer aged 73, helped revolutionise popular music. Where guitars, bass and drums had long been considered its essential building blocks, Kraftwerk paved the way for synth-pop, techno, hip-hop and electronica, in the process proving that microchips and machines could have not only soul, but a sense of humour too. The list of artists whose work is indebted to Kraftwerk, even if they did not always know it, is endless, but includes David Bowie, Depeche Mode, Simple Minds, New Order, The Orb, Madonna, Neil Young, Jay-Z, Afrika Bambaataa, Coldplay and Daft Punk. In 1997 the New York Times described Kraftwerk as “the Beatles of electronic dance music”.

With Schneider and Ralf Hütter proving the main creative impetus, Kraftwerk (German for “power station”) reached their pivotal moment with the release of their fourth album, Autobahn (1974), whose 23-minute title track – a euphoric electronic ode to the joys of driving on Germany’s high-speed motorways, delivered with a light and whimsical touch – became emblematic of the group’s sound and approach. The album reached No 4 in Britain, while the single version of Autobahn reached the the UK Top 20 and the German Top 10. This revolution in synthetic music earned Kraftwerk a spot on BBC television’s science programme Tomorrow’s World in 1975. They subsequently scored a UK chart-topping single, The Model, released with Computer Love (1981), but Kraftwerk’s influence was much further-reaching than mere chart positions would suggest.

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