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Kraftwerk

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Düsseldorf, Germany (1970 – present)

Kraftwerk (“power plant” in English) is an band founded in 1970 in Düsseldorf, Germany. They pioneered electronic music in the and are considered one of the most important and influential bands of their genre, often described as “the godfathers of electronic music”. Kraftwerk’ sound is minimalistic and strictly electronic; it combines driving, repetitive rhythms with catchy melodies and vocals usually sung through a vocoder. The current line-up consists of Ralf Hütter (the only original member), Fritz Hilpert, Henning Schmitz and Stefan Pfaffe. The other founding member Florian Schneider left the band in 2008.

Ralf Hütter (born 1946, Krefeld, Germany) and Florian Schneider (born 1947, Düsseldorf, Germany) met while they were studying improvised music in Düsseldorf, Germany. In 1967 Ralf Hütter (organ), Florian Schneider (violin, flute), Basil Hammoudi (vocals), Butch Hauf (bass) and Fred Monics (drums) formed the group Organisation, released the album Tone Float and split shortly thereafter. The album features repetitive percussion and bass drum patterns embellished with guitar, flute, violin and organ.

After disbanding Organisation, Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider adopted the name Kraftwerk. Early Kraftwerk line-ups from 1970–1974 fluctuated, as Hütter and Schneider worked with around a half-dozen other musicians, most notably Andreas Hohmann (drums; 1970), Houschäng Néjadepour (guitar; 1970), Charly Weiss (drums; 1970/71), Eberhard Kranemann (cello, bass, hawaii-guitar; 1970/71), Klaus Röder (electric guitar, electronic violin; 1974), Michael Rother (guitar; 1970-71) and Klaus Dinger (drums; 1970-71).

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