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The ghost in the machine: Florian Schneider

Remembering a true pioneer. 

Florian Schneider’s passing is a clear testament that Kraftwerk is so much more than the idea of ‘Man-Machine’. With the German outfit, he had an impact on modern music like very few have. By embracing the notion that electronic music was the creation of machines, they somehow humanized the concept more than most of us could. Kraftwerk unveiled the ghost in the machine.

Schneider bought his first synthesizer back in 1970, although he had been playing with Ralf Hütter since 1967, in Organisation (an improvisational music project). Gradually, the concept grew and morphed into what would become known as the first ‘versions’ of Kraftwerk. In 1974, their first material ‘Autobahn’ would be released to critical and popular acclaim, breaking into the top 5 of the BBC and Billboard charts.

But Kraftwerk and their music is just the beginning of this (neverending) story. Because the band is so much more than their own discography, or their iconic performances. Their influence has powered everything beyond modern electronica, techno, house, and even popular music, given the implementation of technology in the genre, making them, perhaps, the biggest contributors to electronic music.

Florian officially left Kraftwerk at the start of 2009 and an iteration of the band led by Hütter is still touring, but his legacy will forever live on. An indelible mark that has no disregard for genres or bounds. Neither man, nor machine, but just so much more: inspiration.

Remember Kraftwerk‘s seminal ‘Autobahn’ below.


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