Co-Founder Florian Schneider Leaves Kraftwerk

And then there was one. The announcement today that Kraftwerk founding member Florian Schneider has left the legendary German electronica group leaves just co-founder Ralf Hütter as the only remaining original face in the lineup, two months shy of the band's South American dates with Radiohead.

The announcement came via the band's web site this morning.

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.

Schneider did not appear as part of Kraftwerk for the band's 2008 tour, but as Hütter told The New Zealand Herald in September, Schneider "never likes touring" so has spent the last few years "working on other projects, technical things."

Schneider and Hütter co-founded Kraftwerk in 1970, later expanding the group to a four-piece with a rotating cast of players. Schneider is largely credited with taking electronic music to the mainstream, and even inspired David Bowie to record an instrumental song called "V2 Schneider" on his Heroes album.

Hütter and fellow Kraftwerk members Stefan Pfaffe, Fritz Hilpert and Henning Schmitz, will take the stage with Radiohead on its spring tour in Latin America, beginning March 15-16 in Mexico City.

Kraftwerk supporting Radiohead
03.15.09 - Mexico City (Foro Sol)
03.16.09 - Mexico City (Foro Sol)
03.20.09 - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Praca da Apoteose)
03.22.09 - Sao Paulo, Brazil (Chacara Do Jockey)
03.24.09 - Buenos Aires, Argentina (Club Ciduad)
03.26.09 - Santiago, Chile (San Carlos De Apoquindo)
03.27.09 - Santiago, Chile (San Carlos De Apoquindo)

Kraftwerk (headlining)
04.25.09 - Wolfsburg, Germany (Altes Heizkraftwerk)
04.26.09 - Wolfsburg, Germany (Altes Heizkraftwerk)

Co-Founder Florian Schneider Leaves Kraftwerk