Florian Schneider leaves Kraftwerk

Posted on 07/01/09

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Florian Schneider leaves Kraftwerk
Florian Schneider, one of the two original co-founders of the pioneering German electronic group Kraftwerk has left the band, according to a post on a usually well informed Brazilian Kraftwerk fan website. Not that it is exactly 'new' news. Schneider supposedly left Kraftwerk on the 21st of November 2008 already as www.elektrodaten.de informed last year. Schneider did not perform on any of the dates of the Kraftwerk 2008 world tour. His position onstage was filled by Stefan Pfaffe, an associate working for the band as a video technician.

Schneider's departure will not affect Kraftwerk's plans to go on tour with Radiohead in South America in March. A concert in Australia last November was called off after another band member, Fritz Hilpert, reportedly suffered a heart attack but the December concerts in Singapore and Hong Kong went ahead as planned.

Schneider founded Kraftwerk with Ralf Hütter in 1970, the two having met in 1968, studying firstly at the Academy of Arts in Remscheid, then at the Robert Schumann Academy in Düsseldorf, and played together in the improvising ensemble Organisation. Prior to meeting up with Hütter, Schneider played with Eberhard Kranemann in the group Pissoff from 1967-68. Kranemann would later join Kraftwerk as a bass guitar player, although his time with the group was short lived.

Originally Schneider's main instrument was the flute, which he would treat using a diverse manner of electronic effects, including tape echo, ring modulation, use of pitch-to-voltage converter, fuzz and wah-wah, allowing him to use his flute as a bass instrument. He also played violin (similarly treated) and made use of synthesizers (both as a melodic instrument and as a sound processor). Later he also created his own electronic flute instrument. After the release of their 1974 album, Autobahn his use of acoustic instruments diminished.

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