Florian Schneider, founding member of the seminal group Kraftwerk, has confirmed his departure from the band.
On their official website, Kraftwerk verified the news and acknowledged Schneiders invaluable contributions to their sound.
Florian Schneider leaves Kraftswerk after a 40 year partnership with Ralf Hutter, the group stated in a prepared statement. This partnership has generated an incredible music and huge advances in music technology.
Kraftwerk holds a revered and lasting place in Hip-Hop culture through their classic songs Trans-Europe Express and Numbers.
The tracks were sampled and reworked by Afrika Bambaataa to create another classic in 1982s Planet Rock, one of Hip-Hops first hits that brought the culture international recognition.
The continued influence of Kraftwerks innovation and experimentation with synthesizers, robotized vocals, and machine-derived drum rhythms heavily contributed to the birth of electro and house music.
"Florian is a great musician, always seeking the perfect sound through technology, Kraftwerk stated. [He] Refined and perfected sounds and vocoders to impossible levels of perfection.
Other Hip-Hop artist who have found inspiration from Kraftwerks style include: Jay-Z (Its Alright, Sunshine), De La Soul (Ghetto Thang), Kool G. Rap & DJ Polo (Rhymes I Express), Mc Lyte (Cha Cha Cha), and JJ Fad (Supersonic).
Kraftwerk closed out 2008 with a tour featuring remaining members Ralf Hutter, Fritz Hilpert, Henning Schmitz, and Stefan Pfaffe.