Florian Schneider, one of the founding members of pioneering German electronic group Kraftwerk, has died at 73 years old, Billboard reports. No cause of death has been identified. Schneider founded the group in 1970 with Ralf Hütter as an experimental rock outfit before beginning to use synthetic instrumentation on third album Ralf und Florian in 1973 and laying the foundation for today’s electronic music. Schneider himself played synthesizers, keyboards, guitar, percussion, flute, saxophone and violin for the group, in addition to singing. Kraftwerk’s sound has influenced other rock giants including David Bowie, Joy Division, New Order, and LCD Soundsystem, along with pop and hip-hop musicians. The group has released ten albums in total, the last of which, 2003’s Tour de France Soundtracks, became their first German No. 1. Although Schneider left in 2008, the group continued to perform, gearing up for a 50th-anniversary “3-D Concerts” tour this year.
Kraftwerk has been nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame multiple times, although they have not yet been chosen. “Kraftwerk’s eerie, undeniable records laid the groundwork for the conceptual synthesized music that would rise in the late ’70s and inspire New Order, Depeche Mode, and many other bands,” Bill Wyman wrote for his Vulture ranking of the 2020 nominees.