One of the great innovators in electronic music, Kraftwerk’s Florian Schneider, has announced he is leaving the group. Schneider formed the band with Ralf Hutter in 1970, and although various members have come and gone in subsequent years, the core duo of Hutter and Schneider has remained a constant. The announcement isn’t a total surprise, as Schneider was absent from Kraftwerk’s 2008 tour.
The band had just announced a string of South American dates in support of Radiohead, which will still go ahead despite Schneider’s absence. Hutter was asked by Mojo in 2005 if the duo would ever consider splitting up, and his answer only makes today’s announcement even more baffling:
MOJO: You [and Schneider] seem inseparable. Have you ever considered splitting up, creatively at least?
Ralf Hütter: No. In a way that’s unthinkable. We often have different opinions about many, many things, and that makes the music of Kraftwerk over 35 years interesting, because if everybody agrees about everything it’s very boring.
The notoriously private band are unlikely to reveal more information about the split, other than the following statement issued on their website:
Florian Schneider leaves Kraftwerk after a 40 years
partnership with Ralf Hütter.
This partnership has generated an incredible
music and huge advances in music technology.
Florian is a great musician, always seeking
the perfect sound through technology. Refined
and perfected sounds and vocoders to impossible
levels of perfection.
Our thanks for the state of art that led to
Kraftwerk’s music all these years.
And our wishes for success Florian’s new
projects as well as to this new Kraftwerk.