This Day In Music 07.04.2016
Florian Schneider best known like one of the founding members of electronic music band Kraftwerk.
Florian Schneider was born on April 7 1947, in Ohningen, Germany. Schnider founded Kraftwer with Ralf Hutter in 1970. They met in 1968 while studying at the Academy of Arts in Remscheid.
Their first recorded appearance together is on 1970's Tone Float, the debut by a psychedelic kraut-rock quintet called Organisation.
In the mid-'70s the German group literally invented the man-machine sound and image. They found immediate success with their first U.S. release, Autobahn, which went Top 5. The requisite hit was an edited version of the 22-minute minimalist title track about a monotonous journey along the famed German–Austrian superhighway. Schneider is a poli-instrumentalist, his main instrument originally was flute, which he would treat using 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, electric guitar, and made use of synthesizers (both as a melodic instrument and as a sound processor).
Schneider, speaking in 1991, said: "I had studied seriously up to a certain level, then I found it boring; I looked for other things, I found that the flute was too limiting. Soon I bought a microphone, then loudspeakers, then an echo, then a synthesizer. Much later I threw the flute away; it was a sort of process”. Although he has limited keyboard technique, and is a trained flautist, he apparently preferred to trigger the synth sounds through a keyboard. He is a sound perfectionist, so, if the sound isn’t up to a certain standard, he doesn’t want to do it.
Later he also created his own electronic flute instrument. After the release of their 1974 album, Autobahn, his use of acoustic instruments diminished. David Bowie cited Kraftwerk as an influence for his Low and Heroes albums. (There is some evidence that Bowie's "V-2 Schneider" is a tribute.)
Kraftwerk confirmed its cold, conceptualist image with "Trans-Europe Express" and "Showroom Dummies," both of which became late-'70s disco hits.
In 1999 the world exhibition organization Expo 2000 commissioned Kraftwerk to record "Expo 2000," the event's theme song. It doubled as a single.
In 2015 Schneider and Dan Lacksman with help of Uwe Schmidt released an electronic ode, Stop Plastic Pollution, for ocean environment conservation as part of a campaign "Parley for the Oceans".
In 2014 Kraftwerk received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
Kraftwerk – The Robots